By Max Clarke

Communities and local government minister Eric Pickles yesterday delivered his Local Government Resource Review, in which local councils are to be given greater autonomy from centralised government.

Freeing local governments ‘from enslavement would, said Pickles, increase cooperation in local affairs and boost democracy, as well as delivering savings through increased efficiency

“This review will be a useful platform for exploring how to drive economic growth at a local level.” Commented Rhian Kelly, Director of Business Environment at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). “More can be done to encourage and stimulate growth, and we are happy to explore a system that incentivises local authorities, but a uniform business rate must be retained.

“To support growth, a business rates system must attract investment and offer clear incentives to local authorities. A uniform business rate is more attractive to investors because of its predictability and certainty, and this is especially important at a time when we need private sector investment to deliver growth and create new jobs.”