Double devolution or double-dealing? The local government white paper and the Lyons review
New Labour’s third White Paper promised the revitalization of local government after ten years of control freakery. It does not, however, live up to the promise of a ‘new localism’ (Stoker and Wilson, 2004). The tenor of the paper is moralizing and prescriptive, claims to a new approach belied by the Government’s negative response to Lyons. Proposals for reform are ambiguous, offering no guarantees against back-door centralisation. Such cause as there may be for optimism largely depends on the capacity of localities to take the initiative. A fundamental debate about the role of local government, local democracy and the relationship between centre and locality is therefore still needed. Given the preponderance of path dependencies, strategic dilemmas and structural constraints upon the centre, the demand for local democracy will have to be initiated, voiced and organised by local citizens and councillors themselves.
Download at http://ssrn.com/author=1643345The file attached to this record is the authors final peer reviewed version. The final publishers version can be found by following the doi link.
Citation : Davies, J.S. (2008) Double devolution or double-dealing? The local government white paper and the Lyons review. Local government studies, 34 (1) pp. 3-22.
Research Group : Local Governance Research Unit
Peer Reviewed : Yes