Modern Local Government is a unique assessment of local government reform from the perspective of both local and central government, which is fully informed an analysis of the role of the European Union. This text provides a systematic review of the reform of local government since the election of New Labour in 1997.

Performance and Freedoms

Performance and freedoms


Concerns about local authority performance in 1997 were derived from research on public perceptions of poor performance and non-delivery of local authorities. The drive to improve local public services including health, education, and transport has been extended to include crime and anti-social behaviour. The local authority performance agenda has become increasingly critical to central government as the greater part of local government funding is derived from national taxation, so the implied link between local and central government performance is made. Further, local elections have increasingly been seen as a judgement on the party in national government rather than as a response to local issues and political choices.

The creation of an improvement and performance agenda for local governance is not new ...

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