Representing the people? Testing assumptions about local government reform

Rao, Nirmala. 1999. Representing the people? Testing assumptions about local government reform. Public Administration, 7(2), pp. 257-271. ISSN 0033-3298 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The publication of a new report from the Audit Commission, coupled with the Labour government's declared intention to modernize local authority decision making, marks the return to the policy agenda of long-familiar questions. This paper tests some of the assumptions underlying the reform programme against recent research evidence. Moves to improve effectiveness through establishing a 'cabinet' system, or delegation to officers of 'lead' councillors are considered in the light of councillors' own preferences and practices. The ways in which councillors spend their time and their perceptions of the appropriateness of its distribution between activities is explored. The paper then examines the extent to which authorities have chosen to experiment with and adapt their own structures, and considers whether central imposition of radical change is either necessary or advisable.

Item Type:



Local government; councillors

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Item ID:


Date Deposited:

02 Feb 2007

Last Modified:

13 Mar 2013 14:53

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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