Warning over localism reforms

Reforms to devolve power from central government to councils and communities are doomed to fail because politicians “don’t understand localism”, a new report has argued.
David Boyle, a fellow of the New Economics Foundation (NEF) thinktank, claimed reforms proposed by all three main parties were under threat because the debate around localism was too narrow.
“Politicians have narrowed the localism debate because they only have the language of centralisation with which to discuss it,” said Mr Boyle, author of Unravelling the Supplicant State.
“The result is they only ever discuss politicians’ versions of localism – government functions, elections and local committees.”
Instead, any debate should include a discussion of how to give the initiative over local services to front line staff and how to hand responsibility to service users for delivering broader services.

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