Local Governments play a crucial role in the functioning of the country. They allow the central Westminster Government to devolve some of their power to them, so as local areas can be managed efficiently by those with a good awareness of the locality. It would be highly unsatisfactory if a central ‘one for all scheme’ were operated as it would be far harder logistically to implement whilst paying special attention to the areas in would control, however to do this without some regulation from central Government could cause its own problems such as rules and regulations being enforced differently in different regions and chaos would ensue. Consequently it has been attempted to achieve a balance between these considerations. The Local Government Act 2000 highlights the point that local Governments may not act beyond their powers.
Local Governments have been provided with the responsibility of the facilitation of local services, such as rubbish collection and important powers with relation to town planning and development, for example the granting of planning permission.
The financing of the Local Governments, and consequently the amount they have available to spend on improving and maintaining your area, comes from a variety of sources such as Council Tax, Business Rates, Fines (such as parking) and Central Government funding. Consequently the amount of money a local Government may have will depend on a number of factors such as its population and the businesses operating in the area. It is ultimately the people within the locality that pay for its upkeep which is much fairer then some also subsidising other, more densely populated areas which could more readily occur with a totally centralised system. Although some may not agree with where their money is being spent it is essential to have such a system in place which is fair in relation to the rest of the community – there is no discrimination. If people perceive a great unfairness in the way they are charged then this can lead to great problems as evidenced by the Poll Tax Riots, which in itself places a strong obligation on fairness and efficiency. Even those who feel their money is being inappropriately spent surely cannot believe that without Local Government it would be spent more wisely, it would surely lead to greater dissatisfaction and inefficiency.
Local Governments, like Westminster are democratically elected. There are a wealth of laws relating to how elections in the UK operate which stipulate matters such as who is eligible to vote.
Although it is arguable how efficiently the local authorities themselves operate it seems indisputable that the devolution of power should lead to a more efficient Country and all the benefits that come with it.