A letter to the new PM

Steve Leach and Colin Copus write to the next Prime Minister with ideas for strengthening local government, including offering councils complete freedom to agree council tax levels.

Dear Prime Minister, local government in England is in dire straits. After a sustained period of austerity, neglect and near contempt by the centre, a sizable financial rejuvenation is required. But, we know that no new government will input the sizeable tranche of financial resources which is needed to deal with this legacy. Yet, there is still a lot a new government can do to make a major impact on the health and effectiveness of local government and we suggest a few ideas.

First, you could free local authorities to set their council tax at whatever level they feel is required, to begin to improve services and counteract the long years of imposed austerity. Honestly, central government does not need to control the overall level of local government expenditure, in its budgetary planning, although the Treasury may try to persuade you otherwise.

Popular articles by Steve Leach


Get unlimited access to The MJ with a subscription, plus a weekly copy of The MJ magazine sent directly to you door and inbox.


Full website content includes additional, exclusive commentary and analysis on the issues affecting local government.


Already a subscriber?