Magazine article Public Finance

Budget Plans for Total Place Fail to Impress

Magazine article Public Finance

Budget Plans for Total Place Fail to Impress

Article excerpt

Proposals outlined in this year's Budget to devolve more power from Whitehall have been met with faint praise and scepticism by localists.

The Budget revealed councils would be given more control over £1.3bn of funding that is currently ring-fenced, and that the number of funding streams from central government to local authorities would be cut from 110 to 94.

The plans are part of the government's response to the Total Place pilot schemes, in which public bodies in 13 areas in England, including Birmingham and Kent, examined how money could be more effectively spent by pooling their budgets.

Total Place: a whole area approach to public services, which covered the pilots' findings and the next steps, was due to be published by the Treasury on March 25.

As Public Finance went to press, the document was expected to include details of a second wave of trials.

Chris Leslie, director of the New Local Government Network, said the Budget's broad recommendations were encouraging. …

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