Local government is a controversial issue with arguments focusing on topics as diverse as its structure and accountability, the political activities of councils and their personnel, and even the need for local government at all. The role of local government has been questioned in recent years and some have argued that the services it performs could be best provided by other organisations. This chapter examines the organisation of local authorities together with the major problems of central-local relationships and the financing of local government which became acute in the 1980s.
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