Why not disband local authorities? For the small increase in local unemployment there would be little loss for a great gain to society. Retain ceremonial and the most basic services related to the Town Hall and Mayoral side but for the rest of the worthless, privately employed, yet supposedly civil servants, we don’t need them and they are helping in the destruction of our societies because they are not what they are advertised. Civil Servants should work for the government of the UK, not private, profit driven organisations, so we should have one or the other, not a pretend version of one masquerading.
- As of today, most local authorities merely act as brokers/agents for private companies or charities that do the actual work. As the saying goes “why not cut out the middle man?” Maybe then we will no longer hear the same old phrase, “That evil central government doesn’t give us enough money and we barely get a penny in Council Tax, kickbacks from businesses and foreign investment!”
- Technology has replaced the need for local authority staff to do anything more than pass forms on to the public and check they have been filled out correctly if a computer rejects them. Central government portals, whilst still implemented and maintained by private companies, have improved dramatically in recent years, so to provide a ‘Citizen’s Portal’ that links to local and central government services for each individual, would be a logical, uniting and cost efficient evolution for public services.
- As private companies already provide the majority of local authority services, any reduction of staffing would not impact the nation, it would impact the profits of exceptionally profitable private companies. The reduction in costs to central government could then be more fairly redistributed to those in need. We’re already paying directly from our taxes into the pockets of companies that make profits above all, whether locally or centrally, why pay more for glorified phone and public relations staff that sit saying “What can we do to help?” followed by “Ah, we can’t help with that, is there anything else we can help with?” (Repeat ad nauseum until you wish to put a spike through their head)
- Other services that were historically claimed to be inefficient government services can now be run far more efficiently nationally. Social Services is a perfect candidate for this, as currently, services are provided on a sliding scale whereby local authorities serving more residents in need of support, raise the level at which support is deemed necessary, creating a variable quality of support dependant on location in the country. This is the opposite of what is required as, neglect, abuse and people at risk shouldn’t have the level of suffering based on the place they live.
- Our government now working under the banner of ‘open government’ has left the door wide for this to happen. As Freedom of Information and a more inquisitive digital population have led to greater scrutiny of central government activities, the widely distributed and corrupt ‘robber baron’ local authorities are demonstrably the greatest drain on our capacity to provide services to our communities. More people have visibility of national endeavours, local authority corruptions and failings are often left unscrutinised.
- It would also be possible to disband a large number of subsidised organisations that are funded by local authorities to ‘independently’ monitor and report on local authorities activities. As these organisations in the main work to defend the local authorities who pay their salaries, the general public would be better off without this pointless drain on public funds.
- It would be nice to consider building and commercial developments being better handled by planning committees not linked to organisations that would bend over backwards for anyone ‘donating’ to ensure their planning permission or development application is processed ‘favourably’. Centrally controlled planning committees whose salaries and bonuses have no direct link to a cash hungry organisation and whose output is visible to the nation, can only be of benefit.
- Local authorities have already amalgamated local services between multiple authorities to ‘save money’. This undermines any argument against completely centralising local authority services as they have already done so and removed the completely relevant aspect of their entire purpose – LOCAL! The fact is that most of these amalgamated services are farmed out to private organisations and there we go back to point one… The same premise follows for ‘County’ councils that sit obfuscating services for the end user, Joe Public, overly confusing, perpetuating higher level pointless staff’s nice tidy earners and totally unnecessary. A person can live in one location yet have to deal with three differing local authorities’ bureaucracies. Not efficient, not serving the public, not acceptable.
- I have already covered in other articles the necessity of merging Child Services with local schools simply based on the same premise that school building projects should not be managed by the same organisation that is corruptible in regards planning permission applications. There are far too many conflicts of interest. “No money for Social Services, ah well, a load more neglected and abused children in our borough might get us a bigger local authority budget next year that we can focus where we want it rather than on the abused children it was given to us for, whilst still bemoaning a lack of funding to local residents…”
After all, the largest technology companies are pushing the maxim ‘massive centralised systems are the most cost effective and efficient’ (If you work in IT, you’ll know that is a cycle that has revolved around the past 30 years ‘centralise-decentralise-centralise…) so why shouldn’t that work for local government services? How many local authorities will be paying private organisations to move their computer systems onto privately funded ‘cloud’ infrastructures at far higher costs than a nationally controlled system?
Governments cannot move quickly enough to keep up with the basics of technology, let alone an increasingly aware and connected society. A comment I heard recently emphasised why the public discussion of such topics as this are so important though. “How can a few people come up with a method of government better than what we have?”
The answer is fairly straightforward. “How do you think countries such as the United States were formed? Do you think their legislators were some form of alien super-beings far outreaching human capabilities or were they merely educated, compassionate individuals who devoted their efforts to attempting the creation of fairer societies?”
This is why if you are a seeking a future that moves further towards a fairer society, you should put your efforts towards supporting a true evolution of governing in the UK. There is no new country to go to where a new governmental system can be created from scratch. It will have to be built upon the foundations of what exists, reinforcing what works and ripping out what is far outdated and failing.