Politics: Labour conference - Council finances 'need overhaul'

Local government financing needs long-term reform to support more voluntary and private sector public service providers, according to Gerry Stoker, co-director of the Institute for Political and Economic Governance at Manchester University.

Speaking at a Labour fringe event last week, Stoker said the public service debate should shift beyond who will provide to how the voluntary and private sectors can provide.

"It's difficult to manage this world of mixed economy provision," he said. "A change to local government fiscal structures would introduce flexibility into service provision."

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