Dan Peters Chris Mahony 26 April 2022

UK comes under pressure to adopt rights charter

UK comes under pressure to adopt rights charter image
Image: Monster Ztudio/Shutterstock.com.

Local leaders will continue to be ‘heavily constrained’ until the UK follows through on its promise to guarantee the rights of local government in law, a sector expert has warned.

The intervention from emeritus professor of local politics at De Montfort University, Colin Copus, came after levelling up minister Neil O’Brien said he was ‘not able to give a timeframe’ for when the additional protocol of the European Charter on Local Self-Government would be ratified – more than 12 years after the UK first signed the pledge.

A report by the 46-nation Council of Europe’s congress of local and regional authorities said the capacity of UK local authorities to ‘perform their tasks effectively is limited by over-regulation, rather heavy supervision by higher-level authorities and issues related to funding’.

The report said local authorities did not have ‘sufficiently prominent leadership and co-ordinating functions’ in relation to other service providers in their area and recommended council leaders should be given an overseeing role.

In an address to the congress, Mr O’Brien insisted the UK was already ‘compliant’ with the principles of the charter and admitted levelling up ‘can’t really succeed without us empowering local leadership’.

He added: ‘It’s hard to see, as you look around the world, examples of places that have turned round their economic fortunes without strong leadership being an important part of that story.’

However, Prof Copus said: ‘If the Government is honest about devolution and strengthening local leadership then it should act on the report’s recommendation to recognise local self-government in legislation, and start to remove controls, regulations and oversight of our councils.

To continue reading visit The MJ (£).

Skate parks are not the only fruit image

Skate parks are not the only fruit

On Go Skateboarding Day, Susannah Walker asks councils and their leisure and park departments to think differently about what facilities they provide for teenagers.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Quality Assurance and Service Improvement Officer

Leicestershire County Council
£33,558
Leicestershire County Council has created two exciting new posts looking at further developing our assurance processes. Leicester, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicestershire County Council

Improvement Manager

Leicestershire County Council
£37,356
Leicestershire County Council has created two exciting new posts looking at further developing our assurance processes. Leicester, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicestershire County Council

Joiner

Northumberland County Council
£22,571-£24,920
Northumberland County Council operates a vast range of services across one of the largest counties in the UK. Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Assistant Director - Planning

West Northamptonshire Council
£87,189 - £87,189
As we’re a new council, you will have the rare opportunity of being there at the start; to stamp your own mark in creating a best practice. Northampton, Northamptonshire
Recuriter: West Northamptonshire Council

Administrative Assistant

Leicestershire County Council
£19,266
An opportunity has arisen to work as part of the Business Support Services Team in Adults & Communities as an Administrative Assistant. Leicester, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicestershire County Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.