Conservative and Liberal Democrat ministers have sought maximum publicity for their policies of decentralisation. But LSE emeritus professor George Jones finds that the steps taken and proposed will in fact encourage a creeping centralization of many more policy areas away from local authority control. Ministers are essentially promoting sub-localism, taking powers from councils allegedly to give to ‘Big Society’ actors below the local- authority level, but ineluctably sucking up key control functions to Whitehall at the same time. A new agreement is now needed between central and local government to prevent these repeated squeezes of local powers and competencies by successive government
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