Tuesday 8 December 2009 10:05 by Graham English
The Centre for Public Scrutiny have responded to the Local Government Association (LGA) consultation document 'Freedom to Lead'.
The document sets out the LGA's view that local government should be freed from what it sees as excessive central government targets and be allowed to set its own priorities to best reflect the needs and aspirations of the public. CfPS welcome calls for greater local accountability yet holds the view that the document lacks a clear vision of what improved local accountability would look like in practice.
CfPS believes that local accountability will be stronger if local areas, led by councils, have more capacity to plan and deliver services that reflect local needs. In this scenario local people can have greater confidence that things will change as a result of their input if accountability is expressed through other means than simply relying on electoral cycles. Any calls for reduced central inspection or regulation of local government need to be matched by a commitment to strengthen local accountability by resourcing it properly and engaging with it effectively.