Lord Shipley OBE, Government Cities Advisor, imagines more integrated public services and strengthened local democracy.
Local Government will be firmly rooted in neighbourhoods with parish and town councils at the heart of local democracy, elected by proportional representation to prevent domination by single parties. They will procure neighbourhood services from wherever they wish and they will decide levels of council tax. Schools will be part of educational trusts and directly funded. Social care will be integrated with the NHS.
All other local government services including children’s services, community safety, regulatory policy, planning policy, housing and transport will be managed at the level of single or combined authorities which will have boundaries co-terminous with their LEPs.
Those authorities will have devolved powers from Whitehall over tax raising other than council tax. Central government will remain responsible for equalisation of resources but the bulk of local income will be locally generated.