The formation of David Cameron’s new Conservative-led coalition Government with the Liberal Democrats has been heralded as good news for Bath and North East Somerset and for the campaign for greater localism.
Conservative Councillors in Bath and North East Somerset have welcomed the news as a major step towards devolving greater powers to local people and local councils. The new Government is expected to take major steps to free-up local authorities from central-government control and allow councils greater freedom for B&NES Council to set its own local priorities.
Conservative Councillors have said that the belief in greater localism is a key area of broad agreement with Liberal Democrats, both of whom promised to reform the Labour Government’s centralised council inspection regime and top-down target culture in their manifestos. It is expected that the reforming of regimes such as the Corporate Performance Assessment of councils could save B&NES hundreds of thousands of pounds each year.
Bath and North East Somerset Conservative Leader Councillor Francine Haeberling commented:
“Our new Government under David Cameron will herald a fresh start for local government and a new dawn in the drive for greater localism. Passing powers back down from central government to local authorities and local people is an area which both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats broadly agree and so in Bath and North East Somerset we will be looking forward to seeing this become a reality.
“Devolving powers to the local area and creating greater local accountability will be very beneficial to our local economy and local democracy. Scrapping many of the Labour Government’s top-down assessment regimes and targets could help B&NES Council save significant amounts of money in the years to come as we find ways to deliver the best possible services on tighter budgets.”