The future of local government needs a radical rethink early in the new Parliament – to define what councils are for, what functions best suit them, and what should be undertaken by others.
Local Government – Time for Reinvention, is based on the views of the UK’s leading consultants – experts in local government - working with councils the length and breadth of the country. The MCA Think Tank puts forward 17 recommendations covering areas such as Getting Localism Right, Digitisation, Demand Management, and Leadership.
The Think Tank says local government has endured a disproportionate share of austerity. Councils have absorbed substantial cuts. Apart from isolated examples, they have done well. The widely predicted local government “crisis” has not emerged. But far greater cuts are anticipated in the next Parliament. Central government support to councils may disappear altogether. Many authorities will struggle to survive in their current form. This calls for a radical reinvention of how councils work.
This MCA Think Tank report draws on the insights, specialist knowledge and advice of a large number of the leading management consultants who work with local government clients. They, like the authorities they support, are at the cutting edge of these issues and debates.
The recommendations, particularly our call for a National Public Conference on local government to take place early in the next Parliament, are put forward by the MCA for debate and to stimulate action. The consulting industry as a whole has a proud track record of helping local authorities to chart their way and deliver improved services at reduced cost. We hope that this report will help achieve what is surely important and desirable for us all: dynamic, democratic and innovative local authorities.
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