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The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill – Governance Issues Damien Welfare 2-3 Grays Inn Square.

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Presentation on theme: "The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill – Governance Issues Damien Welfare 2-3 Grays Inn Square."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill – Governance Issues Damien Welfare 2-3 Grays Inn Square

2 Introduction White Paper, Strong and Prosperous Communities, 26 Oct 2006 Local Government is a vital part of our democracy: Tony Blair White Paper is about: a rebalancing of the relationship between central government, local government and local people: Ruth Kelly

3 LG and PIH Bill Part 1: Structural and Boundary Change Part 2: Elections Part 3: Executive arrangements Part 4: Parishes Part 5: Co-operation with partners (LAAs) Part 6: byelaws Part 7: Best Value

4 LG and PIH Bill (cont) Part 8: Local services: inspection & audit Part 9: The Commission for Local Administration in England (new) Part 10: Ethical Standards Part 11: Joint Waste Authorities Part 12: Entities controlled by local authorities Part 13: The Valuation Tribunal for England

5 LG and PIH Bill (cont.) Part 14: Patient and public involvement in health & social care Part 15: Powers of NAW Parts 16 & 17: Miscellaneous and final provisions Plus 18 Schedules

6 Current status of Bill Third Reading (Commons), 22 May 2007 Third Reading (Lords), 22 October 2007 Royal Assent expected in November

7 Main areas for this presentation 1. Stronger executive powers/three models (Part 3) 2. Community Call for Action (Part 5, Clause 119) 3. Reductions in Performance Indicators (Part 7, Clause 138) 4. Unitary Status (Part 1, Clauses 2-7)

8 1. Stronger executive (Background) 13 directly-elected Mayors 80% of authorities have Leader and Cabinet Remainder: reformed Committee system Most Leaders face annual election Research shows leadership is single most important driver of change (WP)

9 Stronger Executive Powers: three models All Executive powers to be vested in Mayor/Leader Originally three choices of leadership model: a) directly elected Mayor b) directly elected Executive c) Leader elected by fellow Councillors All models to have four year mandate NB: all-party demands in Commons for discretion to return to Committee model

10 Stronger Executive Powers: Then there were two Lords, Committee Stage,10 July 2007 Lib Dem (Baroness Scott) criticisms of constraining choices to just three – and ruling out committee model: - no enthusiasm for elected mayors; - committee system good for learning trade; - scrutiny no substitute for debate Should be left to Councils to decide Conservative support Amendment withdrawn

11 Stronger Executive Powers: Then there were two Lords, Report Stage, 10 October 2007 Lib Dem (Baroness Scott) criticisms of directly elected executive system: - accept inconsistent with pro-choice approach taken previously; - Verging on irresponsible to have system in Bill that is fundamentally unworkable - If elected as cabinet members and councillor, immediate by- election; - potential for executive and council politically opposed; - dangerous to concentrate power in ever-smaller numbers; -(Baroness Maddock) If you explain to anybody outside this chamber what is being proposed, they will simply say, Its mad. Amendment to remove option carried – now only 2 options in Bill. - Should be left to Councils to decide Conservative support

12 Delegation/appointments Mayor/Leader will discharge powers, or delegate individually/collectively to Cabinet Mayor/Leader will appoint Cabinet Mayor/Leader will allocate portfolios 318 LAs: new executive arrangements

13 Four-year terms Mayors unaffected (save Stoke: mayor and council manager; to move to new system) Leader: authorities decide how Leader can be removed during term (Clause 67 inserting 44A – 44H in LGA2000) If council elects by thirds or halves, Leader stands down when term as councillor ends (unless removed)

14 Moving to new models Moving to directly-elected Mayor : no requirement for referendum (but may hold one): Council resolution after wide consultation. Local people can still petition for Mayor Presumption of no moving back once directly elected models adopted.

15 Whole council elections Turnout remains below 40% (inc mayors), but higher in all-out elections Local authority may move to whole council elections and single-member wards, without SoS permission (cl.32), after consultation, at specified times (cl.33)

16 Stronger executives – key clauses Clause 32: changing to whole-council elections Clause 37: changing to elections by halves Clause 39: changing to elections by thirds Clause 62: executive arrangements, amends s 11, LGA 2000 Clause 66: elected mayors Clause 67: Leader-and-Cabinet executives

17 2. Community Call for Action When things go wrong local councillors, supported by their communities, will be able to demand an answer to their questions: Ruth Kelly (WP) Parallels remedy in Police and Justice Act for crime and disorder Does not cover areas where statutory appeals process (eg planning, licensing, non-domestic rates)

18 CCfA (cont) Not intended to displace informal approaches, nor internal negotiation Any cllr able to refer any local government matter to relevant O&S Committee LGM = relates to discharge of functions, affects electoral area of member (or person who lives or works there), and not an excluded matter (crime and disorder, or specified in order by SoS) – cl.119(10)-(11)

19 Response to CCfA Power to make regulations as to information which relevant partner authority must provide to O&S cttee Insofar as actions relate to functions or service delivery connected with the authority (WP) Council to respond to O&S report within 2 months

20 Scrutiny – other changes Encouragement to create area O&S cttees And to focus O&S at council level on strategic issues (eg LAA priorities) and policy advice (WP) Encouragement for councillors to have small budgets to deal with local problems (WP and clause 233)

21 CCfA – key clauses Clause 119: CCfA (new s 21A, LGA 2000) Clause 121: power of O&S Cttee to require information from partner authorities Clause 122: requirement on authority to respond within 2 months to O&S report Also: clause 233: exercise of functions by local councillors

22 3. Reductions in performance indicators Allowing freedom and space for councils to respond flexibly to local needs (WP) radical reduction in national targets, and tailoring others to local needs. Lighter touch inspection system. Revision to Best Value duty

23 Performance indicators (cont) Three-tier system: a) Sustainable Communities Strategy (overarching vision) b) local development framework (physical development) c) Local area agreement (priorities for improvement. Govt sees as heart of central/local relationship). New partnership locally and mature conversation with Govt

24 Performance indicators (cont) Single set of c.200 national outcome-based indicators against which all partners report (developed from national priority outcomes) About 35 local targets/priorities for improvement: some non-negotiable or floor targets plus c 18 DES statutory childcare and education attainment targets Plus any additional targets agreed by LAA (not reported upwards) Youth Justice Bd (YOTs) and other inspection regimes (eg PCTs, police) to be aligned

25 Performance indicators (cont) Duty to prepare annual Best Value performance plans and conduct reviews ended Duty to take steps to secure participation of local people in shaping services

26 Inspection More proportionate, risk-based inspection Annual risk assessment; scored use of resources judgement; direction of travel judgement. Comprehensive Area Assessment

27 Performance indicators – key clauses Clause 137: involvement of local representatives Clause 138: abolition of performance indicators – not Wales Clause 139 – abolition of best value performance reviews

28 4. Unitary status Permissive approach (WP) to restructuring in county areas: councils in those areas able to seek unitary status Strict criteria, inc enhancing strategic leadership, broad cross-section of support, costs from existing resources Small number then expected

29 Unitary status (cont) WP: preliminary decisions end March 07; final decisions by early July 07 Second Reading (Kelly): expect only small number to meet strict criteria Clause 2(1): power to invite or direct authority to restructure: included to deal with detrimental effects on an area of other restructuring; would be amended by Govt to clarify (Hansard, 22 Jan 2007: col 1246)

30 Unified service delivery Collaboration in two-tier areas (LAs and other public bodies): pathfinders Govt sees as essential to secure more effective working arrangements (eg common employees or councillors) Section 101, LGA 1972. Possible amendments to governance and accountability rules (WP) Evaluation of pathfinders over 2,4, 6 years Corresponding evaluation of new unitaries

31 Unitaries – key clauses Clause 2: invitations or directions to restructure Clauses 4, 7: consultation and implementation by Order Clause 11: content of orders

32 Bill – other changes Clause 77: extension of well-being power to eligible parishes Clause 128: alternative procedure for bye- laws Clause 153: Audit Commission not to carry out consultancy studies Part 13: Valuation Tribunal for England Part 15: Powers of National Assembly for Wales

33 Conclusions Expected controversy over Committee system of governance not sufficient to produce amendment, but directly-elected cabinet system defeated. Now only two choices. Parliamentary concerns over scope of scrutiny provisions Significant potential improvements in local discretion Importance of community call for action to role of backbench councillors

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