New secretary of state James Brokenshire has declared himself to be ‘a real fan of local government’ and vowed to take a ‘hands on’ approach to his relationship with the sector.
In an interview with The MJ after just 48 hours in post, he said: ‘Local government does so much good. I have a very positive view of the good local government can do. It has a very hands on approach.’
In a marked move away from the style of his predecessor, Sajid Javid, Mr Brokenshire said he would take a similar ‘hands on’ approach in his relationship with the sector and was keen to ‘listen’ – but he would not be afraid to challenge local government where it was needed.
Mr Brokenshire refused to be drawn on whether he would like to see the return of the Audit Commission, but claimed there was ‘already oversight’ of councils and added ‘we know there are some fantastic councils’.