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Modern Local Government

Modern Local Government

December 2007 | 200 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This text provides a systematic review of the reform of local government since the election of New Labour in 1997. Modern Local Government:

" provides the relevant historical context for the predicted 'death of local government' in the Thatcher era

" explains the New Labour agenda for local government and the components which make up local governance in England today

" offers substantive discussion of: decision-making; community strategies; performance measures; procurement, privatization, partnerships; the role of e-government; and standards and corruption

" analyzes the implications of reform at different spatial scales - from the local to the regional - and offers a rich discussion of the 'new localism'

" presents an overview of the role of European Union legislation in areas like employment, environment and competition.

" concludes with a consideration of the possible futures for local government including local area agreements, local public service boards and choice.

Modern Local Government is a unique assessment of local government reform from the perspective of both local and central government, which is fully informed by an analysis of the role of the European Union. It will be the key resource for all students of local government in planning and related disciplines.

1 Introduction
Why local government?

The debate on central-local relations

The context of local government reform

How do they do it elsewhere?

The notion of social capital

The relationship between local performance and the economy

2 Great Expectations - the position in 1997
The view of local government: the legacy of expectation

The view of the 1997 New Labour Government: the legacy of fear

Paving the way for reform

Real issues on the agenda - which key issues did local authorities face in 1997

3 The new approach to decision making in local government
The new Council Constitutions

Electoral arrangements

The role of the Council

The role of the Executive

Scrutiny and overview

The emerging roles of local councillors

Reforming local government representation at the centre

4 Promoting well being and the community's interest
Understanding the role of a general power of competence - the European Charter of self-governance

The duty to promote the economic, social and environmental well being of the communities being served

Promoting community leadership

Community Strategies

Community leadership and the CPA

Community Strategies and LA21 - towards environmental well being

Community Strategies and Local Development Frameworks

Removing Plan requirements

5 Performance and Freedoms
The role of the Audit Commission

Best value: why competition?

The best value process

Comprehensive Performance Assessment

Does performance assessment work?


Capacity for delivery

Freedoms and flexibilities

6 Delivery with partners - procurement, privatisation, partnerships, trading and choice
Local authorities as employers


Joint service delivery between local authorities

Strategic Partnering

The Lyons and Gershon Reviews: from central to local delivery?


The growing potential of the voluntary sector

7 Joining up around customers - the role of e-government
The problems of silo government for the citizen

Implementing e-government

Local implementation of e-government

Developing and implementing priority outcomes

The barriers to citizen engagement and delivery

Efficiency and e-government

Changing the citizen's relationship with government?

8 Councillors, Standards and Corruption
The system before the Local Government Act 2000

The Nolan Committee on Standards in Public Life

The Standards Board for England


The conduct of local authority staff

Public service ethics

9 The future of local government finance
Local government's constitutional role and finance

Central and local discretions - assessing the boundaries

The continuing legacy of the Layfield Committee

The dynamic of efficiency

The use of property assets - an example of improving efficiency at the local level

A new freedom - the case of business rates

A new localist solution?

10 New Localism
The rise of new localism

Place shaping

Pressures for reduction in local powers

Culture and habit

11 Local Strategic Partnerships - the way forward
Partnership working - programmes and policies

Local Strategic Partnerships

How are LSPs developing?

How effective are LSPs so far?

The future for LSPs, LAAs and Public Service Boards?

12 Parishes, Town Councils and Neighbourhood Working
Developments since 1997

Parish and town councils

Devolved working in local authorities

Emerging forms of local management

The role of Local Strategic Partnerships in neighbourhood development

13 Regions Sub-Regions and London
Why regionalism?

Regional working in England 1993-2004 - moving from central ways of working

Regionalising the centre

How have these regional arrangements worked for local government in England?



14 What is the future of local government?
Shaping influences for the future of local government

Holding local government to account

Reputation management

The choice agenda

Using the third sector

Smaller numbers of professionalized councillors?

Public service reform

Creating a single pubic service


Sample Materials & Chapters

Introduction PDF

For instructors

Please contact your Academic Consultant to check inspection copy availability for your course.

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ISBN: 9780761943754
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