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Local Authorities

There is an urgent need to reform local authorities; councils tend to wield more power over local taxpayers and yet have become less accountable. Many local services are being 'contracted out'; private companies are being employed to do the work which was previously done by council employees. The effect that this can have on local services is that they become more expensive and local ratepayers lose control over the way the operation is run. Some local councillors argue that this is not necessarily the case, that they are bowing to government pressure and that there is little they can do about it. Council Tax has soared well beyond the rate of inflation and the question has to be asked, was 'privatisation' a panacea to control costs, or has it been the main contributor to rising costs? It may be that it was merely a mechanism to rid government and local authorities of the responsibility of running these services and the cost to the taxpayer is irrelevant. Perhaps the time has come to scrap the policy of 'private tendering' and bring services back under the control of local councils using council employees. This would take the element of 'profit' out of the equation and the cost and day to day running of these services would be operated by council employees giving control back to the public through their elected representatives.

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© Campaign for Independent Politicians 2008

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