‘Big government’ under attack

Localis and KPMG have recommended that councils cull spending by 20% by 2011 through doing less, outsourcing more and becoming more financially innovative.

As they did so, Conservative leader David Cameron launched a sustained attack on ‘big government’, championing outsourcing to individuals and local providers.

The bottom line: a vision for local government was published jointly by Localis and management consultancy KPMG on November 9.

It set out a vision of councils working as ‘commissioning and procurement hubs’, arguing that a 20% cut in expenditure was feasible, but only through ‘fundamentally reassessing the services councils provide’.

The report called on authorities to manage their estates better, evaluate all services against cost, and immediately stop all ‘marginally beneficial’ services.

No examples were given of services that might fall into that category. However, the study listed swimming pools and libraries as ‘extra’ services that councils are not required by law to run. It said these could be operated more effectively by businesses, social enterprises and charities.

 

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