Magazine article Public Finance

Diverse Services 'May Be Result Of' Decentralisation

Magazine article Public Finance

Diverse Services 'May Be Result Of' Decentralisation

Article excerpt

Localists needed to be grown-up' about decentralisation and admit it might well mean an increase in the 'postcode lottery' in public services, shadow local government secretary Caroline Spelman told a conference fringe meeting.

'If we decentralise, we have to accept that we will also get diversity... and there may be a variation in standards,' Spelman said. 'But I believe that's what will drive up standards eventually.

'It may be that in the interim, people will call "postcode lottery". But that's something I think you have to tough out as a government that is totally committed to decentralisation.'

Spelman told an audience of Conservative councillors and party activists that people around the country felt disempowered by the centralising tendencies of the Labour government.

She cited planning decisions on issues such as mobile phone masts, sites for travellers and airport expansions as a common cause of despondency on the role of local government. …

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