New Century Local Government

Commonwealth Perspectives

Paperback: £65.00

New Century Local Government

Publication date: 30 September 2013
Size: 240mm x 165mm
ISBN: 978-1-84929-093-7
Pages: 240

Democratic decentralisation through ‘conventional’ institutions of local government is facing increasing challenges, whether from financial pressures, questions of representativeness, difficult central-local relations and from a perhaps growing belief that local government has failed to realise its potential and there may be better ways of achieving societal goals. It is clear there is need to contemplate quite radical change to ensure local government becomes or remains ‘fit for purpose’.

This collection of papers illustrates the way in which the role of local government is evolving in different parts of the Commonwealth and provides practical examples of new local government at work. It showcases emerging practice, and highlights success stories from new ways of working and challenges confronting local government in both developed and developing countries.

New Century Local Government makes a very valuable contribution to helping understand the changing role of local government, and will ensure that practitioners are up-to-date with the most innovative initiatives in local government planning and administration.

ContentsExpand or collapse me

Abbreviations and acronyms
List of contributors

1. Introduction and Overview by Peter McKinlay and Graham Sansom
1.1 The emerging context
1.2 Issues, experience and findings
1.2.1 Decentralisation, localism and intergovernment relations
1.2.2 Local government finance and economic development
1.2.3 New approaches to governance
1.3 Fresh ideas for a new century?


2. Democratic Decentralisation in the Commonwealth Caribbean: Is There a Case for New Roles and Relationships? by Eris D Schoburgh and Bishnu Ragoonath
2.1 Analytic method
2.2 The varied dimensions of democratic decentralisation
2.3 Goals and strategies in the Caribbean
2.4 A focus on structures
2.5 Financial reforms
2.6 Institutional strengthening
2.7 Does size matter?
2.8 Assessing reform outcomes
2.9 New roles, new relationships
2.10 Conclusion

3. Pakistan’s Devolution of Power Plan 2001: A Brief Dawn for Local Democracy? by Munawwar Alam
3.1 Local government in Pakistan until 2001
3.1.1 1947–1958
3.1.2 1958–1969: The ‘Basic Democracy’ system of General Ayub Khan
3.1.3 1969–1979
3.1.4 1979–1988: The local government system of General Zia-ul-Haq
3.2 The Devolution of Power Plan: What was new?
3.2.1 Application of subsidiarity
3.2.2 Abolition of the rural–urban divide
3.2.3 Reform of bureaucracy
3.2.4 Developmental planning
3.3 Organised local government – a new phenomenon in Pakistan
3.3.1 Social dimensions
3.4 Recent developments, prospects and conclusions

4. Decentralisation and Community Budgeting in England by Nigel Keohane
4.1 ‘Total Place’ and ‘Community Budgeting’: the genesis of reform
4.1.1 New areas of focus
4.1.2 The Total Place pilots
4.1.3 Implications and suggested reforms
4.2 The coalition government and the ‘Big Society’
4.3 Models for adopting area-based budgets
4.3.1 Model 1: Agreement
4.3.2 Model 2: Contestability and commissioning
4.3.3 Model 3: Informal networking
4.4 Conclusion

5. Ironic Localism and a Critical History of English ‘Reform’ by Mike Bennett and Kevin Orr
5.1 The irony of ‘localism, localism, localism’
5.2 Jump-cutting through the long history of ‘reform’
5.2.1 The Tudors and central–local relations
5.2.2 The nineteenth-century reform movement
5.3 Localism: the eternal return of the same?
5.4 Local government and the internalisation of reform
5.5 Local government into the twenty-first century: stories of reform


6. Toward a System of Municipal Finance for Twenty-first Century India by Om Prakash Mathur
6.1 Challenges for municipal finance
6.1.1 Improving municipal finance is central to the achievement of India’s economic growth objectives
6.1.2 A robust municipal finance system is necessary for effective implementation and management of India’s urban policy agenda
6.1.3 A sound municipal finance system is a pre-requisite for improved service delivery
6.2 India’s municipal finance system: basic features
6.3 Municipal finances: ground-level realities
6.4 A system of municipal finance for the twenty-first century
6.4.1 Broadening the fiscal domain of municipalities
6.4.2 Institutional re-engineering for improved municipal finance
6.4.3 The role and participation of the central government in municipal affairs

7. Property Rates as an Instrument for Development: An Analysis of South African Policy, Law and Practice by Jaap de Visser
7.1 Local government in South Africa
7.1.1 Developmental local government
7.1.2 Local government institutions
7.1.3 The current context: local government ‘in distress’
7.2 Legal and policy framework for property rating
7.2.1 Reliance on property rates
7.2.2 Municipal property rates policies
7.2.3 Differential rating
7.2.4 Exemptions
7.2.5 Reduction
7.2.6 Rebates
7.2.7 Accounting for discounts
7.2.8 Expectations: South African national and provincial policy frameworks
7.3 Arguments against using property rates for developmental purposes
7.4 A review of current South African practices
7.4.1 Encouraging developmental behaviour
7.4.2 Stimulating local economic development
7.5 Summary and assessment

8. Municipal Partnerships for Prosperity: Empowering the Working Poor in Local Economic Development by Alison Brown
8.1 Conceptualising governance contexts
8.2 Approaches to the informal economy and street vending
8.2.1 Petty trade in Dar es Salaam
8.2.2 South Africa and Durban’s informal economy policy
8.2.3 India’s national street vendor policy
8.3 Developing capabilities
8.4 Conclusion


9. New Pathways to Effective Regional Governance: Canadian Reflections by Brian Walisser, Gary Paget and Michelle Dann
9.1 British Columbia’s layered system for local governance
9.1.1 Creating British Columbia’s regional districts
9.1.2 Attributes of British Columbia’s regional districts
9.2 Inside three regional districts
9.2.1 Geography, demographics and corporate composition
9.2.2 Self-organised service profiles
9.3 Responding to place, need and scale
9.4 Coping with complex, divisive issues at a regional scale
9.4.1 How polycentricity and rivalry affects decision-making
9.4.2 How polycentricity and rivalry affects system architecture
9.4.3 Regions as ‘arenas of contention’
9.5 New pathways for regional governance
9.5.1 Enhancing regional leadership and co-ordination
9.5.2 Enhancing regional decision-making
9.5.3 Meta-governance role of central governments
9.6 Effective regional governance for the twenty-first century
9.6.1 Reflections on effective regional service delivery
9.6.2 Reflections on effective governance in arenas of contention

10. Long-term Strategic Planning in New Zealand: Will Compliance Crowd Out Performance? by Michael Reid
10.1 The New Zealand local government system
10.2 The rise of strategic planning
10.3 Long-term council community plans
10.4 Identifying community outcomes
10.5 The problem of complexity
10.6 International experience
10.6.1 New South Wales
10.6.2 England
10.6.3 South Africa
10.7 Balancing compliance and performance
10.8 Strategic planning: where is it heading?

11. The Role of Local Authority-owned Companies: Lessons from the New Zealand Experience by Peter McKinlay
11.1 Local authority-owned companies: global examples
11.1.1 Europe
11.1.2 British Columbia, Canada
11.1.3 England
11.1.4 Australia
11.2 Local authority-owned companies in New Zealand
11.2.1 Harbour boards and electricity distribution
11.2.2 General-purpose local authorities
11.2.3 Policy implications
11.3 Case studies
11.3.1 Dunedin City Council
11.3.2 Christchurch City Council
11.3.3 New Plymouth District Council
11.3.4 Horowhenua District Council
11.3.5 Bay of Plenty Local Authority Shared Services (BOPLASS Ltd)
11.4 Fast forward: the Auckland Council experience
11.4.1 Working with CCOs
11.5 Reflections on the New Zealand experience
11.5.1 Corporate governance
11.5.2 Monitoring and support
11.5.3 Accountability
11.5.4 Flexibility/co-production and capability development
11.6 Conclusion

12. The Evolving Role of Mayors: An Australian Perspective by Graham Sansom
12.1 Governance, planning and leadership
12.2 Australian context and practice
12.3 Developments in England and New Zealand
12.3.1 England
12.3.2 New Zealand
12.4 A future model
12.4.1 The merits of popular election
12.4.2 The need for stronger community leadership
12.4.3 Ensuring effective strategic and corporate planning
12.4.4 Enhancing political governance
12.4.5 The respective roles of mayors and chief executives
12.4.6 Intergovernment relations
12.5 Conclusion: a framework for legislation

About the contributors Expand or collapse me

Graham Sansom (Editor)

Graham Sansom is Chair of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum’s Research Advisory Group and Director of the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government.

Peter McKinlay (Editor)

Peter McKinlay is Director of the Local Government Centre at AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand.