Last week we welcomed many of the underlying principles of the Conservative Party green paper on localism, ‘Control Shift: returning power to local communities’, and in particular the proposal for a power of general competence to be extended to local councils.
Commenting on this latest policy paper from the Conservatives, our Chairman, Councillor Michael Chater, said: “NALC has continually argued for more power to be decentralised away from the centre to the lowest possible level. Only by putting greater influence and responsibility in the hands of our citizens and communities will their faith be restored in the political process and local public service delivery.
“The leader of the opposition, Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP, has said in the past that local councils need to be cherished and nurtured. Therefore we look forward to discussing with him and his colleagues issues such as the role of local councils in planning and housing decisions, partnership working between the tiers of local government, conduct and ethical standards and a power of general competence.”
We’ll soon be discussing the details and proposals in the green paper with the Shadow Secretary of State, Caroline Spelman MP, and in particular the critical role that the current 8500 local councils and their 80,000 councillors are likely to play.