Austerity, a weapon against local democracy

The Government Austerity measures seem to be diminishing Borough, District and Unitary Councils to the point that they look little different from Parish and Town Councils. Maggie Thatcher started this process, loathing Councils because she was frightened of local authorities becoming an opposition power base and this centralisation of power has continued under Labour for the same reason. The process in which this attack occurs started with the 1980 and 1988 Housing Acts effectively transferring social housing into the hands of private land lords and a plethora of housing associations which radically diminished the income and power of Councils. This present financial crisis has allowed this government to continue that process, so that meaningful local democracy is critically challenged. All the major political parties are committed now to continuing to reduce the income and services of local authorities and to keeping a tight control over their income raising powers. With this unanimity at the Parliamentary level comes a deafening silence at the local political level, proving that sometimes turkeys do vote for Christmas.


One thought on “Austerity, a weapon against local democracy

  1. I am in agreement with this article.It is quite obvious that all governments of whatever political colour wish to esmaculate local power bases and anyway all governments since the victory of Margaret Thatchers Conservetives have actually been “blue” devoted to the enactment of the Thatcherite settlement.A clear example of this is the current desire to keep control of councils income raising powers by insisting on a referendum if they wish to raise local tax by more than 2% .Councils should not have to go to the trouble of a refendum.They should be able to raise council tax by any amount they desire without the interference of central government.

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