Nothing to lose but your chains. is the third volume of a major study into the reform of local government finance in England. It sets out the authors' proposals for a comprehensive, yet practical, reform of the local revenue finance system. The reforms recommended aim to correct the shortcomings of the present system of local finance, whilst taking into account current political realities. The authors believe they provide a solution that is both radical and politically feasible, returning autonomy to local government whilst retaining a workable balance between concerns about national equity and local control. By Tony Travers and Lorena Esposito for Policy Exchange and the New Economics Foundation.
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Reinventing the Town Hall: a Handbook. Local government works best where it succeeds in involving the public, fostering civic pride and building trust. The appearance and working area of the town hall - the most public face of local government - can play a vital role in achieving these ends. Yet many local councils remain oblivious to the message sent by their town halls and other democratic meetings places. This handbook draws on national and international examples, including unpublished new designs by a range of leading contemporary designers, to suggest ways of reinventing town halls as open animated public spaces. By Ben Rogers.
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.
In Defence of Centralism. It has become fashionable to demonise the 'centre', 'centralisation', 'command and control'. Devolution and diversity are the way of the future. Right or left, government or opposition, we are all localists now. In "In praise of centralism: A critique of the new localism" David Walker takes issue with received ideas about decentralisation that ignore the inevitable trade-off between differentiation and equity. He argues that progressive policies in the twentieth century largely flowed from central initiatives, while localism has more often than not been the homeground of reaction..
By Catalyst, UK.