‘Take social services away from councils’

    A government adviser has called for social services to be
    nationalised as part of a wholesale reform of local government.

    In What is Local Government For?, Professor Gerry Stoker says
    local authorities should lose “direct funding and control” over
    social care and only retain a “challenge and scrutiny”
    function.

    The Manchester University academic is currently leading a
    government-commissioned evaluation of the major reforms to local
    authority constitutions in 2000, and contributed to the development
    of Labour’s policy on elected mayors.

    In the pamphlet he says that social care has become increasingly
    dominated by national priorities, with support for consistent
    levels of service and funding across the country.

    The pamphlet, published by think-tank the New Local Government
    Network, says local authorities should concentrate on transport,
    economic development, environmental services, community safety and
    social inclusion.

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