The Local Government Association has given its response to the proposal by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat government to save £6.2billion. This response, (this is the LGA response, not necessarily the Liberal Democrat response), is as follows:
Responding to the coalition Government’s announcement of £6.2 billion of savings, Dame Margaret Eaton, chairman of the Local Government Association, said:
“We all know cuts are necessary and councils are ready to talk to the Government about how these cuts are implemented and limit their impact on front-line services. Town halls have delivered savings year after year and know about taking difficult decisions on spending.
“Locally-elected councils are closest to the people they serve. If there are tough decisions to make, they are best taken by the people who know their area best, so it is good the Government is giving councils more freedom over spending and starting the business of cutting the quango state down to size.
“What we need now is fundamental reform of the way the public sector works to cut the maze of public sector bodies, funding streams and bureaucracy that costs huge sums and stands in the way of delivering more for less.
“We have already laid out detailed plans that would save taxpayers £22.5 billion over this Parliament without damaging vital front line services. But that could just be the start. There are enormous opportunities to save billions more if we grasp the nettle and cut out the middlemen who tie up huge sums in needless red tape.
“It will be important to have certainty early about how the detail of the cuts package affects each and every local authority.”
A full briefing is available here.