Draft Local Government (Organisation and Standards) Bill Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence - First Report


Memorandum by Ribble Valley Borough Council

  I have been asked to write to you by the Parish Council's Liaison Committee of this Council in response to the Government's proposals for change in how local government takes its decisions, its codes of conduct and local governance.

  There is considerable concern amongst Parish Councillors about the reasons behind the proposed changes. Committee felt that there were real dangers in embarking upon a course of action which would ultimately hand effective decision making over to a small number of senior councillors. The whole exercise would be costly, time consuming and would divert the Council from the many other issues which it is currently dealing with, such as Best Value, Single Status, Crime and Disorder etc. Even to stay as we are would require money and resources. Whilst it is true that a Referendum could reject any new form of local governance, this again will prove costly. Bearing in mind poor turnouts in recent elections the end result may prove inconclusive.

  Following so soon in the back of the ill-fated Local Government Review now is surely not the time for local government to be looking inward on itself. There certainly was a strong view of "If it ain't broke don't fix it" and that the whole debate was the result of the problems of large urban authorities rather than small rural councils.

  We would certainly ask that the Government thinks again before imposing a one solution fits all on the whole of local government.

8 June 1999

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