Future of Local Government

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Conference
2015 Local Government Service Group Conference
Date
18 February 2015
Decision
Carried as Amended

Conference notes: –

1)The damage that the Coalition’s ‘austerity’ programme has inflicted on local services and local communities across the UK and the future damage that could occur if the plans set out in the Autumn Statement 2014 are followed;

2)The warnings from the Public Accounts Committee that discretionary local services may disappear and that statutory services may be unsustainable;

3)The continuing central control on local government exercised by the Scottish Government;

4)The proposed local government re-organisation in Wales;

5)The local government re-organisation in Northern Ireland;

6)The debate that has started about devolution within England and further devolution in Wales following the Referendum in Scotland;

7)The trend in shared services, suggestions that some district councils are not viable in the medium term and the renewed interest in unitary authorities in England in areas with county and district councils;

8)The contradictions between the rhetoric of ‘localism’ and the actions of government departments, especially Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Conference believes that local government and local democracy should be at the heart of our political, social and economic life and recognises the need to promote a radical and progressive new vision for the future of local democracy, local government and the local government workforce for the period 2020 onwards.

Conference believes that that vision must be built on:-

a)Sustainable systems of local government finance across the UK;

b)A well trained workforce, properly rewarded, delivering quality local services and involved in service design;

c)Services that are built around the needs of service users, that are involved in the service design;

d)The European Charter of Local Self Government;

e)The public service ethos;

f)Democratic accountability and open government;

g)Transparency;

h)Equality;

i)Social responsibility.

Conference calls on the Service Group Executive:-

I)To work with other parts of the union, other local government bodies, Labour Link, the TUC and civil society organisations to build support for properly funded local services and a new vision for local government;

II)To develop a model for the 2020 local government workforce, in line with NJC Committee strategy jointly with other local government bodies.