‘Put trust in front-line staff to deliver services’

    Front-line staff such as social care workers and teachers are not
    being trusted to deliver services, the new chair of the Local
    Government Association Sandy Bruce-Lockhart said last week.

    Bruce-Lockhart called for a “radical decentralisation” of
    government, adding that the burden of bureaucracy had “sapped the
    heart out of public services”.

    Over the past 15 years there had been an “extraordinary” rise in
    quangos, he said. These were now responsible for administering 80
    per cent of spending in local areas, 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
    Bruce-Lockhart.

    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. You trust
    people at the forefront of services or you do not. You cannot have
    it both ways.”

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