MANIFESTO OF A BENEVOLENT DICTATOR

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

The Government and this Dictator feel that more powers should be devolved to Local Councils.  Revenue raising powers should also devolve.  The Calman Report should be applied to more regions than just Scotland

Local Government funding has been dabbled with too many times.  Margaret Thatcher had the thought of spreading the burden more widely and fairly, but events showed Poll Taxes are fatally flawed in the public’s perception.  But the power to raise tax services for their services would have a favourable impact on the interest in and turnout of, local politics.  Central Government should provide funding for the basic service and regulation setting out the standards needed.  If more than that basic level is required then the local populace should vote for it and pay for it.  We know enough about the make-up of local populations from the 10 year Census to make any necessary adjustments for the variation in populations.  I say in section 5.2 The Civil Service that they should be prepared to transfer to Local Government as centralised activity is run down.  It seems clear to me that local government managements may need an injection of new talent following Grenfell Tower.

I attended courses on the fundamentals of economics and do recall that the basic asset of a local government is the land in its area.  The area of land that you control the use of, as an individual or family group, should be proportional to the tax rate applied.  This would free up under-used land.  The tax would have to be phased in say with no more than an 8% increase per annum, to protect the old for whom the thought of moving and leaving their memories is unbearable.  Progressively a multiplier could be applied to zone land use more effectively in the local interest.