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The Impact of Central Government Policies on Local Authorities’’ Transport Expenditure and Provision: 1. Review of Changes in Government Policies Since 1979

Sanderson, Ian (1988) The Impact of Central Government Policies on Local Authorities’’ Transport Expenditure and Provision: 1. Review of Changes in Government Policies Since 1979. Working Paper. Institute of Transport Studies, University of Leeds , Leeds, UK.

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Abstract

The period since the mid-1970s has witnessed increasing interest and controversy in relations between central and local government as successive governments have sought to assert controls on local authorities' activities as part of wider economic and political programmes. Most attention has focussed on attempts to control local government expenditure in the context of the macroeconommic management of the economy, but in recent years, financial controls have been supplemented by legislative measures which have raised issues of a 'constitutional' nature (cf. Loughlin (1986)). Indeed, some commentators have argued that the controls introduced by the p~esent Conservative Government since 1979 represet a fundamental re-structuring of central-local relations such as to constitute a threat to the future of local government (see Rhodes (1984) p 261).

A considerable amount of work has been undertaken to examine the implications of changes in the system of local government finance in terms of their effect, firstly, on local authority spending, secondly, on management and organisation within local authorities, and, thirdly, on relations between central and local government. This last aspect has received particular attention, especially through an SSRC-funded research initiative in the early 1980s in which the issue of central-local financial relations figured prominently (Goldsmith, 1986). Moreover, in this context there have been developments in the theory of the state, particularly the relationship of the 'local state' to the 'central state', deriving from the study of changes in central government financial controls (Martlew, 1983; Goldsmith and Villadsen, 1986).

Clearly, the study of such changes will provide insights which will be valuable, firstly, in relation to the development of our ideas about the role and status of local government within the wider economic and political system and, secondly, in relation to the development of future policies for local government finance. To date, it would appear that most of the work in this area has focussed on aggregate spending by local authorities or classes of local authorities (e.g. shire/metropolitan/London authorities) and work on specific services has concentrated on such services as housing and education. It is considered, therefore, that an examination of the effects of changes in central government financial controls on local authorities' transport expenditure and provision will provide a valuable contribution to this area of study.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright of the Institute of Transport Studies, University Of Leeds.
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > Institute for Transport Studies (Leeds)
Depositing User: Adrian May
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2007
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2014 06:00
Published Version: http://www.its.leeds.ac.uk/
Status: Published
Publisher: Institute of Transport Studies, University of Leeds
Identification Number: Working Paper 256
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2303

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