Magazine article Public Finance

Woolas Tells Councils to 'Reconnect' Their Citizens with Services

Magazine article Public Finance

Woolas Tells Councils to 'Reconnect' Their Citizens with Services

Article excerpt

Local authorities must make residents understand the connection between taxation and services, and exercise spending restraint, to reverse public anger over rising council tax, according to local government minister Phil Woolas.

Speaking at the New Local Government Network annual conference on January 17, Woolas said the new council powers and freedoms in the Bill now before Parliament are an opportunity for local authorities to reconnect citizens with their services. If the public has more say over the services and understands how they are funded, attitudes towards council tax will change, he claimed.

'If local taxpayers see joined-up delivery and services - in which they have a say - improving, together with a stable local tax, then the dislocation will begin to close and perceptions may change.'

But his comments have raised concerns that the government might have gone cold on town hall finance reform, which is being considered by Sir Michael Lyons. …

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