Magazine article Public Finance

Councils Need Public Support for More Powers, Warns LGA

Magazine article Public Finance

Councils Need Public Support for More Powers, Warns LGA

Article excerpt

Councils have to play a central part in the next government s delivery agenda but need to prove that they are up to the challenge, the chair of the Local Government Association said this week.

Sir Sandy Bruce-Lockhart told a meeting at the London Assembly on April 19 that local government would only secure the freedoms and flexibilities it desires if it could demonstrate that the public was behind it.

'Whoever is in government will only really listen to us when our standing is higher than it is now,' he said. 'We need to be armed with public support to argue for more power.'

Bruce-Lockhart cited Electoral Commission research showing that 47% of people thought their local council was directly relevant to their lives - almost twice as many as the 25% who said the same of Westminster and Whitehall.

He said: 'We need to build on that. It is local issues that are important. …

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