Magazine article Public Finance

Councils Need Devolved Powers 'To Engage with the Public'

Magazine article Public Finance

Councils Need Devolved Powers 'To Engage with the Public'

Article excerpt

Public confidence in town halls has declined, a government survey has found, prompting ministers to call for devolved powers to be used straight away.

A triennial study by the Department for Communities and Local Government, published on May 23, shows that only 54% of the public are satisfied with their council's local services - a decrease of one percentage point since the 2003/04 survey.

Overall confidence in town halls has dropped by 11 percentage points since 2000/01, despite a general improvement in councils' performance under the Comprehensive Performance Assessment regime over the same period.

Local government minister Phil Woolas said the figures 'show we cannot take the public for granted' amid rising expectations for public services.

'We must find new ways to engage with people and meet their ambition,' he said.

'That is why we are devolving unprecedented levels of power through our new "community call for action", greater community management and ownership of assets, and more powers to frontline councillors to give people a greater voice. …

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