The Decline and Fall of Local Democracy
The Decline and Fall of Local Democracy. is the first part of a major study into the reform of Local Government Finance, and charts the history of local government funding in England and Wales. It examines the historical changes to local finance systems from their earliest origins in feudalism through the Victorian period and into the twentieth century. The authors show how today's highly centralised system of local government finance is a product of central government's desire to ensure equality of service provision across the country and maintain fiscal discipline. As the government's Balance of Funding review continues, the authors demonstrate that the reform of local government finance will have to confront the long-running tension between equality and local control. They will provide their own recommendations for reform in the first half of 2004. By Tony Travers and Lorena Esposito for Policy Exchange and the New Economics Foundation.