Radical reform of Local Government: Report

Alec today publishes his report ‘A Future for Local Government in England‘ ahead of a Westminster Hall debate on Tuesday 6th September in which he is expected to call for radical reform of England’s local authorities.

Alec said: “My report sets out an approach to overhaul the complexity and inefficiency of Britain’s faltering local government system; the result of a number of piecemeal reforms that have papered over the cracks that can be seen today. Most importantly, starting the system anew would allow the largest ever power shift of direct accountability to the electorate, providing a clear and precise understanding of who is responsible for the decisions which affect their lives”.

The report proposes:

§  The abolition of two-tier local government, eradicating the combination of county councils and district councils, and replacing them with single-tier unitary councils.

§  All-out elections held on a five year fixed-term cycle and at a midpoint between General Elections. Every Councillor elected for a five year term of office, saving £46 million a year by reducing the frequency of local elections.

§  A reduction in overall the number of local Councillors elected to a local authority and the equalisation of ward size, so Councillors represent an equal number of electors in single-member wards. It is proposed that such a reduction should coincide with the professionlisation of the role, moving to a position of employment with a salary attached and delivering an estimated saving of £24 million per year.

Alec served as a Leeds City Councillor for six years before being elected as an MP. He said: “The purpose of this debate is to start a meaningful conversation about the long-term future of how we run and operate local governance in the United Kingdom. Unlike the myriad of reorganisations that have taken place over the course of the last century, which have looked to add on top of existing systems, I feel we need to look at a completely new system that consolidates and empowers local government. At the same time, we should be looking to make changes in a cost effective way”.

You can read Alec’s report for yourself here: https://www.scribd.com/document/321868095/A-Future-for-Local-Government-in-England