Con & Ad - Local Government
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How is Local Government defined today?
It is a form of de-centralisation. The population of the country is too large to have a unitary government based in London. People also relate more easily to smaller communities.
What is the turnout in Local Government elections?
How does local government raise revenue?
They receive 45% of their income from grants from central government. They also impose local taxation.
Why are lawyers interested in local government?
It is because it the site of lots of conflict between local and central government. It is one of the examples you get of various rules being developed by the courts in order to deal with conflicts between the citizen and state and also between local and central government. Many of the issues which result in judicial review come from local government cases. Local government provides us with a whole series of conflicts and resulting judicial review.
Do we have a federal or unitary system in the UK?
We have a unitary system, there is only one parliament.
What are the main objectives of local government in the UK?
- 1.) To reduce the load on the centre.
- 2.) To provide opportunities for democratic choice and popular participation in the government of local areas, in this way government can be made more accountable to local communities.
- 3.) To achieve more responsive and rational decision making through institutions which are well informed about local conditions and aware of local needs and demands.
What did the Widdicombe Committee see as the value of local government?
They saw the value of local government as stemming from it's attributes of pluralism, participation, and responsiveness. Local government is also seen as 'enhancing and developing democracy' and as 'the most accessible avenue for political participation'.
What did Martin Loughlin identify as the four key characteristics of the system of local government in the United Kingdom?
- These are;
- 1.) Multifunctionality, a single body assumes responsibility for a number of different functions.
- 2.) Discretion, local authorities are free to decide on the precise pattern of the services which they deliver and even to redefine the nature of the service they provide.
- 3.) Taxation, this gives local power a degree of financial independence which is unique amongst the subordinate institutions of government.
- 4.) Representation, local councils are the only governmental institutions outside parliament which are subject to direct periodic election.
What did the Local Government Act 1972 do?
The act reorganised local government in England and Wales, replacing the 1,391 existing counties, boroughs and urban and rural district councils with 422 new authorities.
What did the Local Government Act 1992 establish?
This act established a Local Government Commission for England with the task of reviewing local government areas and recommending appropriate boundaries, electoral changes and administrative structures for each such area.
What does the Greater London Authority have as it's objective?
The objective is to 'promote economic development and wealth creation, social development, and the improvement of the environment in Greater London.'
What is the Mayor of London's relationship to the London Assembly?
The Mayor must consult and is held accountable to the Assembly, which scrutinises the Mayor's performance of his functions and approves the Mayor's budget.
What did the Conservative Government of 1979 wish local authorities to be?
They wanted them to be 'enablors and regulators rather than providers of services'.
What functions do Local Authorities have?
The authorities relate to; consumer protection, culture and entertainment, education, environmental health, fire, highways, public transport, housing, licensing, social services, planning and development control.
How does the ultra vires principle relate to local government?
The ultra vires principle means that local government can only act within the limits of the powers conferred upon it. Some argue that this principle is a straight jacket on local government and that they should be given the mandate to 'act in the best interests of the local community'.
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