Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Government urges councils to copy H&F

The Evening Standard reported yesterday that Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Local Government and frequent visitor to our borough, has urged local authorities across the UK to follow our council's lead in merging services with two neighbouring boroughs.

Mr Pickles said that other authorities should be able to demonstrate that they have considered this before cutting any services, given the savings that have been made here. A fair point - I've never really understood the opposition from Labour to the move, who have attacked it as being undemocratic, or even a prelude to a full blown merger. Mr Pickles, by contrast, described H&F at this parliamentary event, as the "future of local government".

This sort of radicalism was what Stephen Greenhalgh,the now departed leader of H&F, used to raise eyebrows with but generally won a lot of praise for. If he'd stuck to that instead of getting tied up in hugely unpopular deals with property developers in the non-Fulham parts of the borough he'd have won a lot more positive recognition than he did.

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