Date of release: Thursday, January 12, 2017

The future of local councils in the face of increased control from central government and private sector influence is the subject of a University of Greenwich seminar this month.

The Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU), part of the Business School, is hosting the event at the Greenwich Campus on Tuesday 24 January 2017 (3pm–6pm).

Dr Jane Lethbridge, Director of PSIRU, says: "Since the 1980s, central government has increased its influence over local government in England. The reduction of directly-delivered public services, increased outsourcing and the promotion of public-private partnerships have limited councils' ability to respond to local needs.

"Reductions in central government funding will continue until 2020 when local government will be responsible for providing only the most basic of public services.

"Although terms such as the 'new localism' have been part of central government policy, there has not been any commitment to strengthen local government's ability to meet emerging local needs.

"This seminar will look to examine the impact of local government reforms on public services and explore democratic alternatives."

Speakers include sociologist Dr Peter Latham, whose talk, Who Stole the Town Hall? will cover issues discussed in his book of the same name. Kevan Nelson (UNISON) will present a session, Critique of Devo Manc, looking at the devolution of Greater Manchester. Professor Richard Hatcher (Birmingham City University) will then discuss new forms of urban governance before the event closes with a discussion.

This seminar is aimed at anyone interested in the future of local government. Local government councillors and officers, trade unions, students, non-governmental organisations and civil society organisations will be especially welcome.

Future of local government takes place at Hamilton House, Room HH103, University of Greenwich, 15 Park Vista, SE10 9LZ. To register please email businessevents@gre.ac.uk with your name and contact details.

Story by Public Relations