Miliband vows more council powers

Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Labour leader Ed Miliband.

First published in National News © by

A Labour government would begin to reverse a "century of centralisation" with legislation to return powers and billions of pounds of funding to local councils in England, Ed Miliband has said.

The Labour leader said he would chart a new course away from the "old top-down command model" towards what he called a new era of "people-powered public services".

Writing in The Guardian ahead of the publication today of the report of Labour's local government innovation taskforce, Mr Miliband said that at the same time he would insist on a new system of checks and balances to ensure council chiefs are properly held to account.

There would be a statutory requirement on local authorities to set up public accounts committees - along the lines of the Commons Public Accounts Committee chaired by Margaret Hodge - to scrutinise value for money for all services in their area.

In return, he said councils would receive long-term funding settlements while taking over powers for schools, further education, policing and the integration of health and social care programmes in their areas.

"Instead of Whitehall setting local authorities' annual budgets, the government I plan to lead next year will provide long term funding settlements so councils can plan ahead, improve their services and reinvest the savings.," Mr Miliband wrote.

"The next government can make big reforms without big spending. By reversing the centralisation of power we will empower those who are best able to use the resources we have and have shown they can deliver. It is an essential step on the road to social justice and a more equal society."

The report follows the party's growth review, published last week by the former transport secretary Lord Adonis, which set out plans to devolve £30 billion of spending to the English regions over the course of the next parliament.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:49am Mon 7 Jul 14

kez1968 says...

Please, please no!!!! Our councils are inept, corrupt,money wasters don't give them more power or public money, it will end in tears.
Please, please no!!!! Our councils are inept, corrupt,money wasters don't give them more power or public money, it will end in tears. kez1968
  • Score: 1
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree