Public Sector – CIPFA demands local autonomy

CIPFA has demanded a raft of changes in financing to foster a more positive view of local authorities.

The recommendations were a response to consultation papers on local authority finances released by the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions. CIPFA called for the restoration of financial autonomy, allowing local authorities to raise and spend money in line with the needs of their communities.

CIPFA identified an ideal target of 50% to 55% for locally raised finance.

To achieve this, CIPFA recommended returning the business rate to local authority control, reducing ‘gearing’ of the council tax and restoring a formal link between businesses and local authorities.

It also demanded greater clarity in responsibility for spending decisions and roles of central and local government.

A DETR spokesman said the consultation papers formed part of a series of six paving the way towards a White Paper aimed at modernising local government.

Related reading