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Leading the way to the future?

30 September 2010

It has been announced today that four councils have been testing the potential of community based budgets under the direction of the Coalition’s Big Society adviser Lord Wei.

The idea is premised on the four councils leading the way, involving local residents in designing and running their public services and pooling budgets at a community level. If successful they have the potential to prompt a significant shift in accountability which would make local public services genuinely local, both in the way funding is allocated, and decisions about services are made and accounted for.

With the Comprehensive Spending Review due on 20 October these pilots are well timed to feed into the outcomes of the Review and it will be interesting to see whether the result is the ‘radical devolution of power and greater financial autonomy to local government and community groups’ promised by the Coalition Government in their Coalition Programme.

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