Independent think-tank slams wasteful and costly Government bureaucracy

The Government’s costly and time-consuming system of inspections and form-filling imposed on local councils has been slammed by a new independent report.

The Government’s widely-derided ‘Comprehensive Area Assessment’ has already received heavy criticism from the non-partisan Local Government Association, and has now been slammed in a damming report by the think-tank ‘Localis’.

The report criticises the Government’s assessment regime for wasting billions of pounds and failing to properly measure the performance of local authorities.

Local Conservatives in Bath and North East Somerset, where is estimated that the bureaucratic inspection regime costs at least a quarter of a million pounds every year, have welcomed the new report. Nationally, the Conservatives have pledged to scrap the expensive regime to instead allow local councils to focus on, and be judged on locally set priorities.

Conservative Councillor Martin Veal, chairman of B&NES Council’s Enterprise and Economic Development panel, said:

“This is yet more damning evidence of the time and money that is wasted on Government form-filling, hoop-jumping and box-ticking. This is tax-payers money being wasted again at a time when the Council is having to tighten its belt. Local Conservatives have been pressing for these costly and time consuming inspection regimes to be scrapped in favour of being judged on local priorities.”

The think tank states that local councils are currently more accountable to Government Ministers than local people, and suggests that councils should be able to opt-out of the assessment regime to focus on local priorities instead.