LGiU the council of 2043: Clive Betts, MP

30To mark the LGiU’s 30th anniversary we invited 30 contributors to gaze in to a crystal ball and tell us how councils will be different in 2043.

Clive Betts MP, Chair of the CLG Select Committee, is an optimist by nature but also gives us a glass half empty version of the future.

Anticipating change over 30 years is largely a matter of instinct. I am instinctively an optimist but a pessimistic view of councils 30 years on would see schools completely removed from their responsibility, a new national commissioning body for social care, and with council tax fixed by central government just enough money to empty the bins, sweep the streets and cut the grass occasionally. If a bit of money was left over some assistance could be given to volunteers trying to run libraries and recreational facilities in increasingly decrepit facilities.

Alternatively the inherent optimist would see councils as the democratic heart of our communities, with a written constitutional role, responding to local wishes, coordinating comprehensive public services, playing a lead role in economic development and being able to raise much of their own revenue from a variety of sources. The very optimistic view might even allow me to live long enough to see this.

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