HC Deb 09 February 1998 vol 306 cc14-5W
Mr. Darvill

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he will publish his proposals for reforming local democracy; and if he will make a statement. [28962]

Mr. Prescott

I have published today the first in a series of papers inviting discussion on proposals to modernise English local government. Copies have been placed in the Library of the House.

This first paper—on local democracy and community leadership—sets out proposals for modernising local electoral arrangements, for developing new ways in which councils can listen to their local communities and involve them in their decisions, for devising new ways in which councils can work, and for strengthening councils' roles as leaders of their local communities.

Other papers in the series will cover our proposals for best value in service delivery, a new ethical framework for local government, and aspects of the local government finance system. Following what I hope will be a wide public debate, we will set out our firm proposals in a White Paper. Our aim is a reinvigorated local government playing its full part as a partner with central government in laying the foundations for stable economic growth and improving the quality of people's lives.