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The Impact of Central Government Policies on Local Authorities’ Transport Expenditure and Provision since 1979 – Summary Report

Sanderson, I. (1989) The Impact of Central Government Policies on Local Authorities’ Transport Expenditure and Provision since 1979 – Summary Report. Working Paper. Institute of Transport Studies, University of Leeds , Leeds, UK.

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Abstract

The past decade has witnessed an increasing degree of tension in relations between central and local government as successive governments have sought to assert greater control over local authoritiesq expenditure and activities as part of wider economic and political programmes. Most attention has focused on attempts to control local government expenditure in the context of macro- economic policies but in more recent years financial controls have been supplemented by legislative measures affecting the fundamental role and responsibilities of local authorities. Indeed, some commentators have argued that the measures introduced by the Conservative governments since 1979 represent a fundamental restructuring of central-local relations such as to constitute a threat to the future of local government.

Within the broader context far-reaching changes have been made affecting the financing and provision of local transport services and facilities. Takentogether, these changes have fundamentally re-structured the basis upon which local authorities provide for the transport needs of their areas. Our research has focused essentially on the effects of this re-structuring with the primary objective of assessing the impact on local authoritiesq transport expenditure and outputs and on their approach to addressing local transport problems and needs.

Of particular interest to our research are changes which have been made to the Transport Supplementary Grant (TSG) system. TSG was introduced in 1975/6 as a block grant to support both current and capital expenditure on roads and public transport thus supplementing Rate Support Grant (RSG) in respect of current expenditure and authoritiesq borrowing in respect of capital expenditure.' TSG was seen as providing the new county councils with the means to undertake their responsibilities for integrated and co-ordinated planning of public and private transport. However, following the election of the Conservative government in 1979 there was an increasing degree of conflict between central and local government over the nature of the outputs, and the expenditure consequences of, such integrated and co-ordinated planning, especially in London and the metropolitan areas. As part of a wider programme to bring local authoritiesq transport spending under control and more into line with the Government's transport policies and objectives, the TSG system was reformed in 1985/6, grant support being restricted to capital expenditure on roads deemed to be "of more than local importance".

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Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright of the Institute of Transport Studies, University Of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > Institute for Transport Studies (Leeds)
Depositing User: Adrian May
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2007
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 16:53
Published Version: http://www.its.leeds.ac.uk/
Status: Published
Publisher: Institute of Transport Studies, University of Leeds
Identification Number: Working Paper 271
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2286

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