With a Little Help From Our Friends
International Lessons for English Local Government
Author: Local Government Association |
The challenges facing central-local relations in this country are not unique. Finance, performance management and local government structures are concerns common to many countries’ local government systems around the world. However, when we compare different countries’ responses to these issues, England is almost always to be found at the centralist end of the spectrum.
A new LGA sponsored report written by Roger Gough of the think-tank Localis pitches the English local government system with those in Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Holland and South Africa.
On the basis of the evidence from these countries, the report recommends a series of measures which are necessary for central-local relations to be more effective in England.
The report highlights how understanding how local government works elsewhere can contribute to helping achieve our long term goals of creating more balanced central-local relations.
So how can what we have learnt from other countries be used to better entrench local government here within what is an ‘unwritten constitution?’ Do other local government systems have a formal seat at the national political table? The report also demonstrates how the issue of local government finance does not always have to be a thorny issue, if we look further afield.