Communities and local government secretary Ruth Kelly yesterday promised council leaders a “dramatic reduction” in Whitehall targets as part of a devolution of power.
She announced the creation of a lifting burdens task force to identify ineffective targets that should be scrapped, in a speech to the Local Government Association’s annual conference.
Kelly said that currently 80 per cent of performance reporting produced by councils is information required by Whitehall and not of direct benefit to local communities, citing a government-commissioned report published the same day.
She added that devolution of power could snowball if councils proved up to assuming greater responsibility.
Kelly also said the government would not impose unitary local government in county council areas, as had been speculated, saying this would only proceed if popular locally.