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Striking the right balance

25 May 2010

Much has been made of the Conservatives views on localism. The only problem is to many of us localism brings to mind The League of Gentleman’s horrific Royston Vasey with all of the prejudice and small minded self interest that goes with a society so wrapped up in its own interests.

One of the potentially most powerful tools to give a local community the ability to really change their environment is Total Place, an idea launched by the outgoing Labour government.

Some will see Total Place as a vehicle for making necessary cuts in public spending but it could be so much more, allowing communities greater control in how services can be delivered more effectively and efficiently.

Before the election the Conservatives endorsed Total Place. Last week the full coalition agreement outlined a commitment to greater decentralisation. To achieve effective devolution of budgets and power at the same time as developing the Total Place initiative will require the Coalition to ensure it strikes the right balance between giving local communities a real say in their region and ensuring that the right decisions are made even if they may be unpopular.

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