Magazine article Public Finance

Whitehall and Town Halls Sign Up to 'Historic' Partnership Concordat

Magazine article Public Finance

Whitehall and Town Halls Sign Up to 'Historic' Partnership Concordat

Article excerpt

Council leaders and ministors this week committed to a new relationship which moves closer to recognising central and local government as equal partners in service delivery.

A concordat, signed at the Local Government Association's general assembly on December 12, was hailed by both sides as a ground-breaking and historic agreement.

LGA chair Sir Simon Milton said: 'It makes a significant further step In freeing councils from control from the centre.'

The concordat commits central government to reducing unnecessary intervention in local affairs, stating that: 'Councils have the right to lead the delivery of public services in their area and shape its future without unnecessary intervention or control.'

In turn, local government is committed to helping central government achieve its Public Service Agreements.

Communities Secretary Hazel Blears said: 'Local devolution is no longer a fringe pursuit but now right at the centre of the government's agenda.'

However, there were indications that the two parties might not see eye to eye on the thorny question of local government finance. …

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