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A dozen councils give the LGA notice to quit

The Local Government Association will be writing to councils "in the next couple of weeks" offering a reduction in membership subscriptons to reflect the percentage of cut in central Government grant.

At the moment four councils are not members (Bromley, North Somerset, Kings Lynn and West Norfolk and Torridge.)

According to the Local Government Chronicle (£) another six have served notice to quit:

Barking & Dagenham and Greenwich LBCs, Test Valley BC, South Cambridgeshire DC, Windsor & Maidenhead RBC and Rutland CC have made the decision in the past six months.

A year's notice is required and those who have already given it are:

Rochford DC, Doncaster MBC, Slough BC, Barnet LBC, Kingston upon Thames RBC and Sutton LBC.

But the LGA say these councils give a "rolling" notice just to have some flexibility. They can check out any time they like, but will they ever leave?

If the LGA cuts their membership subs for each council from around £50,000 a year to around £40,000 a year then that would be welcome. Some of the policy and research work it does is sensible. But it does have two inherent flaws. First, it is a trade union for councils and defends any council under attack for any reason (even Haringey over Baby Peter.) Secondly, its policies are constrained by consensus - for instance the Labour as well as the Conservative councils.

As Margaret Thatcher said:

To me consensus seems to be —the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies in search of something in which no-one believes, but to which no-one objects. —the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead.

What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner "I stand for consensus"?


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