‘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

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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