Trust frontline staff to deliver local services, urges LGA chairman

Chairman of the Local Government Association Sir Sandy
Bruce-Lockhart has called for a “radical decentralisation” of
government spending, arguing that frontline staff such as social
care workers and teachers were not being trusted to deliver
services, writes Sally Gillen.
Speaking at the Local Government Association annual conference in
Bournemouth, he called for a greater freedom and autonomy for local
authorities, adding “the burden of bureaucracy has sapped the heart
out of public services”.
Over the last 15 years there had been an “extraordinary” rise in
quangos and 80 per cent of spending in local areas was administered
by them, leaving just 20 per cent to be spent locally.
“A bonfire of quangos, agencies and task groups must start now. The
powers and resources should be returned to local government,” urged
He added: “Across public services, too many local managers are
forced to concentrate on Whitehall priorities and the dead hand of
national inspectorates. This should be turned around. Inspection
should be dramatically reduced and proportionate to risk.
“You trust people at the forefront of services or you do not…you
simply cannot have it both ways.”

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