In this provocative new book, Peter Latham argues that the UK Conservative Government’s devolution agenda conceals their real intention: to complete the privatisation of local government and other public services.
Using illustrative examples from across the UK, including the so-called ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and the Midlands, the book explains the far-reaching implications of the reorganisation of local government that is already affecting vital public services, including education, health, housing and policing.
Proposing an overhaul of the taxation system to include land value taxation, a wealth tax and more progressive income tax to fund an increase in directly provided services, the author argues that a new basis for federal, regional and local democracy is vital.
Dr Peter Latham is a sociologist whose thesis on Theories of the Labour Movement in the 1970s used Antonio Gramsci’s concept of the organic working-class intellectual to explain 20th-century rank-and-file movements in the British building industry. From 1999 to 2006 he was Treasurer and then Secretary of the Labour Campaign for Open Local Government. He is a member of the Communist Party of Britain's Economic Committee and the Labour Land Campaign and is a delegate to Croydon Trades Union Council.
The Localism Act 2011, Open Public Services and the neoliberalisation of councils;
Imposed ‘metro’ mayors: new wine in old bottles;
Police and Crime Commissioners: another half-baked' import;
Local government finance;
Towards a new basis for federal, regional and local democracy.
"A serious analysis of how democracy in local government has been imperceptibly slipping away." Camden New Journal
"This book is essential reading for anyone interested in local democracy and the provision of local services. In particular anyone thinking of standing as a local councillor should read it from cover to cover." Inside Croydon
"Neoliberalism is unsustainable and this book uses compelling and accessible evidence that a different form of politics is both possible and essential." The Morning Star
“Peter Latham provides a vivid account of how the power of local government has been reduced by central government and hollowed out by the private sector as well as making important suggestions for rebuilding it.” Jane Lethbridge, University of Greenwich
"Latham’s passion for democracy and social justice shines through in his detailed critique of the latest wave of neoliberal attacks on local government." Kevan Nelson, North West Regional Secretary, UNISON