The complete, and fully updated, handbook for anyone who works in local government.
The second edition is a comprehensive revision of this practical resource. It examines the considerable changes enacted under New Labour and the trend towards 'governance' by an array of local agencies and partners rather than the traditional model of locally elected government through councils. At the same time, the guide remains an authoritative yet accessible source and a de Tocqueville-like study of local government as a political institution.
Starting with the Victorian golden age of local democracy and taking in the role of councils as key agents of the post-war consensus in the era of state planning, the guide considers the massive culture change effected by the Conservatives under Thatcher and subsequently by Labour under Blair. In addition to explaining the role of local councils in providing key services such as education, social care and housing, it spells out the thinking behind current policies and concepts such as city regions, local strategic partnerships and private finance initiatives. It also explains and assesses the role of elections and the nuts and bolts of local administration, such as the collection of council tax.
With a directory of key contacts and an analysis of relevant legislation, the book will help anyone who needs to understand the role played by local government in the UK today, including students of journalism and public policy, those starting work in local government or those who engage with it on a professional basis.
'It provides those less familiar with the subject with an engaging historical background about local government's origins and development... an informative guide'