Paul Marinko 28 June 2022

Gove says new body will 'shine light' on sector failures and successes

Gove says new body will shine light on sector failures and successes image
Image: I T S / Shutterstock.com.

Michael Gove has reaffirmed his plans to ‘shine a light’ on both the failures and successes of councils with a new Office for Local Government.

In his speech to the annual Local Government Association conference at Harrogate, the local government secretary said he wanted ‘better marshalling of the data’ so it was easier to ‘navigate’ and the public could truly judge the performance of their council.

The MJ had been led to believe that Mr Gove would use the occasion to name the new chair of the body but he stopped short of this.

Mr Gove did indicate there would be an ‘annual report’ on local government, with data initially focusing on services that he said residents were most concerned about such as education, waste management and adult social care.

He added that in time this would be extended to areas such as net zero and health and social care integration.

In a speech that offered both a carrot and a stick to councils, Mr Gove referenced the recent high-profile failures at Liverpool City Council and Slough Council.

He claimed the ‘common thread’ was ‘weak leadership’ and the reputation of all councils was damaged by such cases.

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