Magazine article Public Finance


Magazine article Public Finance


Article excerpt

Looking back to the future

It seems sharing or merging functions is the 'new' utopia.

Some of us Oldies' remember the 1969 report of the Royal Commission on Local Government Reform chaired by Lord Redcliffe-Maud. This advocated unitary authorities across the country, based on the big cities in urban areas and county councils in rural areas.

People would know that one authority provided all services, the unitary council would be large enough to command real pulling power for staff, and IT systems and purchasing of goods and services would be done in-house, all by liaison arrangements with regional neighbours - for example, East Anglia and the Southeast - and there would be little need for expensive consultants.

Common systems would be applied throughout local government as there would be so many fewer councils.

Parish councils would be given enhanced powers to ensure local feelings and needs were given priority.

A local income tax would become feasible, local authorities could become more independent and perhaps people would be more understanding of local government and likely to take part in its future - even vote.

What do you think?



Merger debate was spurned

I was sorry to read that Reg Smith feels that there was insufficient opportunity for debate about the proposed consolidation between CIPFA and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (Letters, November 11-17). …

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