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					The Local Government and Public
   Involvement in Health Bill –
       Governance Issues
         Damien Welfare
      2-3 Gray‟s Inn Square
• White Paper, “Strong and Prosperous
  Communities”, 26 Oct 2006
• “Local Government is a vital part of our
  democracy”: Tony Blair
• White Paper is about: “a rebalancing of the
  relationship between central government,
  local government and local people”: Ruth
             LG and PIH Bill
•   Part 1: Structural and Boundary Change
•   Part 2: Elections
•   Part 3: Executive arrangements
•   Part 4: Parishes
•   Part 5: Co-operation with partners (LAAs)
•   Part 6: byelaws
•   Part 7: Best Value
       LG and PIH Bill (cont)
• Part 8: Local services: inspection & audit
• Part 9: The Commission for Local
  Administration in England (new)
• Part 10: Ethical Standards
• Part 11: Joint Waste Authorities
• Part 12: Entities controlled by local
• Part 13: The Valuation Tribunal for
       LG and PIH Bill (cont.)
• Part 14: Patient and public involvement in
  health & social care
• Part 15: Powers of NAW
• Parts 16 & 17: Miscellaneous and final
• Plus 18 Schedules
       Current status of Bill
• Third Reading (Commons), 22 May 2007
• Third Reading (Lords), 22 October 2007
• Royal Assent expected in November
Main areas for this presentation
1. Stronger executive powers/three models
  (Part 3)
2. Community Call for Action (Part 5, Clause
3. Reductions in Performance Indicators
  (Part 7, Clause 138)
4. Unitary Status (Part 1, Clauses 2-7)
       1. Stronger executive
• 13 directly-elected Mayors
• 80% of authorities have Leader and
• Remainder: reformed Committee system
• Most Leaders face annual election
• Research shows leadership is single most
  important driver of change (WP)
   Stronger Executive Powers:
          three models
• All Executive powers to be vested in
• Originally three choices of leadership model:
  a) directly elected Mayor
  b) directly elected Executive
  c) Leader elected by fellow Councillors
• All models to have four year mandate
• NB: all-party demands in Commons for
  discretion to return to Committee model
    Stronger Executive Powers:
        Then there were two
• Lords, Committee Stage,10 July 2007
• Lib Dem (Baroness Scott) criticisms of constraining
  choices to just three – and ruling out committee model:
  - no enthusiasm for elected mayors;
  - committee system good for „learning trade‟;
  - scrutiny no substitute for debate
• Should be left to Councils to decide
• Conservative support
• Amendment withdrawn
     Stronger Executive Powers:
         Then there were two
• Lords, Report Stage, 10 October 2007
• Lib Dem (Baroness Scott) criticisms of directly elected executive
  - accept inconsistent with „pro-choice‟ approach taken previously;
  - „Verging on irresponsible‟ to have system in Bill that is
  „fundamentally unworkable‟
  - If elected as cabinet members and councillor, immediate by-
  - potential for executive and council politically opposed;
  - dangerous to concentrate power in ever-smaller numbers;
  -(Baroness Maddock) “If you explain to anybody outside this
  chamber what is being proposed, they will simply say, “It‟s mad””.
Amendment to remove option carried – now only 2 options in Bill.
• Mayor/Leader will discharge powers, or
  delegate individually/collectively to Cabinet
• Mayor/Leader will appoint Cabinet
• Mayor/Leader will allocate portfolios
• 318 LAs: new executive arrangements
           Four-year terms
• Mayors unaffected (save Stoke: mayor
  and council manager; to move to new
• Leader: authorities decide how Leader can
  be removed during term (Clause 67
  inserting 44A – 44H in LGA2000)
• If council elects by thirds or halves, Leader
  stands down when term as councillor ends
  (unless removed)
      Moving to new models
• Moving to directly-elected Mayor : no
  requirement for referendum (but may hold
  one): Council resolution after wide
• Local people can still petition for Mayor
• Presumption of no moving back once
  directly elected models adopted.
     Whole council elections

• Turnout remains below 40% (inc mayors),
  but higher in all-out elections

• Local authority may move to whole council
  elections and single-member wards,
  without SoS permission (cl.32), after
  consultation, at specified times (cl.33)
    Stronger executives – key
• Clause 32: changing to whole-council
• Clause 37: changing to elections by halves
• Clause 39: changing to elections by thirds
• Clause 62: executive arrangements,
  amends s 11, LGA 2000
• Clause 66: elected mayors
• Clause 67: Leader-and-Cabinet executives
  2. Community Call for Action
• “When things go wrong local councillors,
  supported by their communities, will be
  able to demand an answer to their
  questions”: Ruth Kelly (WP)
• Parallels remedy in Police and Justice Act
  for crime and disorder
• Does not cover areas where statutory
  appeals process (eg planning, licensing,
  non-domestic rates)
                CCfA (cont)
• Not intended to displace informal approaches,
  nor internal negotiation
• Any cllr able to refer any “local government
  matter” to relevant O&S Committee
• LGM = relates to discharge of functions, affects
  electoral area of member (or person who lives or
  works there), and not an excluded matter (crime
  and disorder, or specified in order by SoS) –
         Response to CCfA
• Power to make regulations as to
  information which relevant partner
  authority must provide to O&S cttee
• Insofar as actions relate to functions or
  service delivery connected with the
  authority (WP)
• Council to respond to O&S report within 2
     Scrutiny – other changes
• Encouragement to create area O&S cttees
• And to focus O&S at council level on
  “strategic” issues (eg LAA priorities) and
  policy advice (WP)
• Encouragement for councillors to have
  small budgets to deal with local problems
  (WP and clause 233)
         CCfA – key clauses
• Clause 119: CCfA (new s 21A, LGA 2000)
• Clause 121: power of O&S Cttee to
  require information from partner authorities
• Clause 122: requirement on authority to
  respond within 2 months to O&S report
• Also: clause 233: exercise of functions by
  local councillors
  3. Reductions in performance
• Allowing “freedom and space” for councils
  to respond flexibly to local needs (WP)
• “radical” reduction in national targets, and
  tailoring others to local needs. Lighter
  touch inspection system.
• Revision to Best Value duty
  Performance indicators (cont)
• Three-tier system:
• a) Sustainable Communities Strategy
  (overarching vision)
• b) local development framework (physical
• c) Local area agreement (priorities for
  improvement. Govt sees as heart of central/local
  relationship). “New partnership locally” and
  “mature conversation” with Govt
  Performance indicators (cont)
• Single set of c.200 national outcome-based
  indicators against which all partners report
  (developed from national priority outcomes)
• About 35 local targets/priorities for improvement:
  some non-negotiable or floor targets
• plus c 18 DES statutory childcare and education
  attainment targets
• Plus any additional targets agreed by LAA (not
  reported upwards)
• Youth Justice Bd (YOTs) and other inspection
  regimes (eg PCTs, police) to be aligned
  Performance indicators (cont)
• Duty to prepare annual Best Value
  performance plans and conduct reviews
• Duty to take steps to secure participation
  of local people in shaping services
• More proportionate, risk-based inspection
• Annual risk assessment; scored use of
  resources judgement; direction of travel
• Comprehensive Area Assessment
  Performance indicators – key
• Clause 137: involvement of local
• Clause 138: abolition of performance
  indicators – not Wales
• Clause 139 – abolition of best value
  performance reviews
           4. Unitary status
• Permissive approach (WP) to restructuring
  in county areas: councils in those areas
  able to seek unitary status
• Strict criteria, inc enhancing strategic
  leadership, broad cross-section of support,
  costs from existing resources
• Small number then expected
        Unitary status (cont)
• WP: preliminary decisions end March 07;
  final decisions by early July 07
• Second Reading (Kelly): expect only small
  number to meet strict criteria
• Clause 2(1): power to invite or direct
  authority to restructure: included to deal
  with detrimental effects on an area of other
  restructuring; would be amended by Govt
  to clarify (Hansard, 22 Jan 2007: col 1246)
       Unified service delivery
• Collaboration in two-tier areas (LAs and other
  public bodies): pathfinders
• Govt sees as essential to secure more effective
  working arrangements (eg common employees
  or councillors)
• Section 101, LGA 1972. Possible amendments
  to governance and accountability rules (WP)
• Evaluation of pathfinders over 2,4, 6 years
• Corresponding evaluation of new unitaries
      Unitaries – key clauses
• Clause 2: invitations or directions to
• Clauses 4, 7: consultation and
  implementation by Order
• Clause 11: content of orders
        Bill – other changes
• Clause 77: extension of well-being power
  to eligible parishes
• Clause 128: alternative procedure for bye-
• Clause 153: Audit Commission not to carry
  out consultancy studies
• Part 13: Valuation Tribunal for England
• Part 15: Powers of National Assembly for
• Expected controversy over Committee system of
  governance not sufficient to produce
  amendment, but directly-elected cabinet system
  defeated. Now only two choices.
• Parliamentary concerns over scope of scrutiny
• Significant potential improvements in local
• Importance of community call for action to role of
  backbench councillors

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