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Return local authorities to their role as service providers

Comment 29th August 2010

I am no longer concerned about nanny state. What concerns me is the increasingly authoritarian attitude of local authorities. It is time that their powers to introduce "criminal" offences such as putting out rubbish on the  wrong day and imposing politically motivated parking restrictions and twenty mile speed limits were curbed. No bye-laws should ever be criminal offences.

They should be forced back to performing their proper role as service providers to the local community and should be held properly accountable for doing so.

Perhaps a change of name from "local authority" to "local service provider" would be a good starting point in delivering the message.

Why does this matter?

It would clarify and rebalance the role of local government and would stop extremists from having a disproportionate control over people's lives.

There is too much concentration on their authority to control people whilst the services that they are supposed to provide are becoming a secondary function to their ability to impose charges, rules and restrictions.

We need less authority and more accountability.

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