David Cameron promised to decentralise power in a speech to the Local Government Association Conference, but, in return, asked for help in getting more for less.
He stressed that “thriving local government” was at the heart of his vision for the country and called for “new ideas, new activism and a new dynamism” at local level.
He pledged that a Conservative Government would devolve power “downwards and outwards” and spelt out the areas where local government would gain more control:
“All those layers of bureaucracy that are a straitjacket on everything you do - the process targets, the Comprehensive Area Assessments, the regional strategies and plans - we’re going to scrap them and let you get on with the job.”
“All that ring-fencing that makes you budget with one hand behind your back - we’re going to phase it out to allow for real local discretion on spending. All those quangos, like the Standards Board, that has just become a forum for pointless and vexatious complaints - we will scrap them.”
David asked delegates to “find even more savings, innovate and help bring us through this debt crisis”.
And he stressed the importance of making local government spending transparent: