Control and power in central local government relationships dating

control and power in central local government relationships dating

relationship between local and central government, to ensure that . The centre controls virtually all taxation, and power has followed money. .. have judged the impact overall of government change in this area to date. Local Government Finance and Central-Local Relations To date, it would appear that most of the work in this area has focussed on financial controls on local authorities' transport expenditure . statutory authority for power to act. This is. Center-local relations refer to the political and administrative relationships that exist between a Conversely, a state favoring decentralization will distribute power to local governments: sub-national bodies play a to devolve powers to local bodies while actually adding new modes of central control. . Relevance, Date.

To streamline the focus of the paper, the following analytical framework was used: Machingauta noted that, although they are body corporates, local authorities remained creatures of statutes with no constitutional recognition of their existence. In essence this implies that local government in Zimbabwe is a decentralised devolved level of governance which authority is derived from Acts of Parliament and not enshrined in the constitution.

Local authorities in Zimbabwe are administered through panoply of Acts of Parliament enacted by the Zimbabwean legislature. The various legislative instruments inter alia the Urban Councils Act, chapter The Ministry of Local Government administers all the Acts and Statutory Instruments promulgated in the local government area. The minister is supposedly considered to be acting in the best interest of the citizens. In Marchthe minister appointed a resuscitation team for the Municipality of Chitungwiza after the dismissal of key council staff including the town clerk on grounds of corruption and abuse of office.

Indeed the allegations levelled against the council officials pointed to irregularities in financial management, allocation of stands and violation of employment procedures.

Organisational arrangement of central and local government from a personnel perspective The organisational and structural arrangement of local government presents an important dichotomy in understanding the manifestations of power and responsibility allocation and distribution between the parent ministry and local authorities.

The minister retains the overall supervisory, coordination and control authority on the behaviour of local authorities. However, local authorities at provincial and district levels are accountable to the minister via the Provincial Administrator P. A and District Administrator D.


One of the key result areas of D. As is to supervise and monitor local authorities and as such they are ex-officio members of full council and committees of council. While local authorities have the power to employ non-director employees, the appointment of directors is subject to approval by the local government board in terms of section of the Urban Councils Act chapter Members of this board are appointed by the minister and therefore hold office at his discretion an issue that have raised eyebrows and controversy over the transparency of this statutory board which have been blamed of rubber stamping the whims of the minister.

Financing of local government functions-the common resource base problem Central government through Acts of parliament determines and delimits the sources from which local authorities can raise revenue for their day to day functionality. Local government revenue sources include but are not limited to service charges, rates, property tax, and grants from central government, rent on property leased, and borrowing subject to approval by the minister.

At the same time central government gets income from sources including PAYE, import and export duties, and royalties on mineral resources. It therefore appears that central government income sources are easier to collect relative to those of local authorities. However, before implementing their budgets, local authorities must seek the approval of their tariffs and income from the minister who have the veto to reject a council budget where he feels the tariffs are beyond the affordability of citizens or where he feels the expenditure is not justifiable.

In addition to this, the common resource problem has reduced the capacity of citizens to honour both central government dues on the one hand and local authority tariffs on the other hand. Supervision and control systems and mechanisms The decentralization of functions to local authorities also came with the institutionalization of a package of control systems and supervisory mechanisms by central government to ensure that local authorities behaves within the parameters set in the relevant Acts of Parliament.

Inter-governmental relations from this angle reflect the politics of the horizontal power dynamics between local authorities and central government. Goldsmith [ 10 ] identified three ways by which central government can exercise control over local governments.

The first one is the control of local government income and expenditure. In income terms, central government may decide which taxes local governments can access or to set tax rates or to decide the form of intergovernmental transfers. In expenditure terms, central government may seek to control local government access to borrowing for capital purposes and to set limits to current expenditure levels or prohibit certain expenditures or to require localities to meet a greater or lesser proportion of the costs of certain services out of their own resources.

SAGE Books - Centre-Local Relations

Secondly, there is control through a process of administrative regulation or prescription about the ways in which particular local functions or services be provided.

The four dimensions of supervision of local governments by the centre he identified are the establishment of local government institutions and regulating their institutional framework.

The third manner of supervision is the continuous monitoring of local government functions through requests for information and access to local government records as well as investigations into allegations of corruption and other forms of improper conduct. In this regard, supervision may involve the suspension and or dismissal of elected councillors for improper conduct or poor performance. Lastly, is the intervention of central government by appointing administrators, commissioners or caretakers to act as council pending investigations section 80 of the Urban Councils Act Chapter However, the question is whether such tight strictures on the functioning of local authorities will enable those local authorities to realize their potential to facilitate development and sustain democracy.

The scope of innovation and responsiveness to local needs is directly to the measure of local discretion offered by the legal framework. Whilst the Zimbabwean government has vehemently denied acknowledging such alleged excesses of control on local government, it is important to note for instance, that in the RDC Act alone, there are more than instances where the Minister can intervene in the day to day running of Rural District Councils.

The era post which coincided with the rise of the Movement of Democratic Change MDC heralded the advent of what Makumbe preferred to call a formidable opposition movement in Zimbabwe since independence.

This period evidenced a massive dissolution and dismissal of MDC led councils.

History of local government in England

Other local authorities affected included Bindura, Chinhoyi, Karoi to mention just but a few. Administration of misconduct The Acts of parliament stipulates how central government handles ultra vires conduct by local authorities.

These include inter alia the suspension and dismissal of councillors and mayors, appointment of investigating teams, appointment of caretakers and resuscitation teams. However, the exercise of these functions have generated an outcry among local authorities especially those under the Movement of Democratic Change MDC as they complained that the local government framework absurdly invests too much power in the minister who have abused this mandate for his personal benefit. Section 54 2 of the Urban Councils Act, Hundreds were led by a 'hundred-man', and had their own 'hundred' courts.

The members of the hundreds or tithings, etc. Hundreds were used as administrative units for the raising of armies, collection of taxes and so forth. The Norman conquest — [ edit ] England in showing hundreds, wapentakes and wards The conquest of England by the Normans in brought about many changes in the local administration of the country, but some aspects were retained.

One of the biggest changes was the introduction of a severe feudal system by the Normans. Although Anglo-Saxon society had also been essentially feudal in character, the Norman system was much more rigid, centralised and thorough. William the Conqueror claimed ultimate possession of virtually all the land in England and asserted the right to dispose of it as he saw fit.

Thenceforth, all land was "held" from the King. The fiefs were generally small and given out piecemeal, to deprive William's vassals of large power-bases. Since each fiefdom was governed more or less independently of each other by the feudal lords, the Anglo-Saxon shire system became less important. However, the system did continue in use.

The shires referred to by the Normans as 'counties', in analogy to the system in use in medieval France remained the major geographical division of England.

North of the Humber, the Normans reorganised the shires to form one new large county, that of Yorkshire.

Immediately after the conquest the rest of northern England does not seem to have been in Norman hands; as the remainder of England came under Norman rule it too was also constituted into new counties e.

LancashireNorthumberland In the period immediately after the Norman conquest, hundreds also remained as the basic administrative unit.

In the Domesday Bookthe great Norman work of bureaucracy, the survey is taken shire by shire, and hundred by hundred. At this time, if not before, hundreds must have become more static units of land, since the more fluid nature of the original system would not have been compatible with the rigid feudal system of the Normans.

control and power in central local government relationships dating

Although hundreds continued to alter in size and number after the Domesday Book, they became more permanent administrative divisions, rather than groups of households. The early medieval period — [ edit ] During the medieval period, local administration basically remained in the hands of the feudal aristocracy, who governed affairs in their fiefs. The enserfment of the population by the Norman system diminished the importance of hundreds as self-regulating social units since law was not imposed from above, and since the population was immobilised.

Instead the basic social unit became the parishmanor or township. The counties remained important as the basis for the legal system. The sheriff remained the paramount legal officer in each county, and each county eventually had its own court system for trials the Quarter Sessions. Although the Hundred Courts continued in use resolving local disputes, they diminished in importance.

Knights in each county were appointed as Conservator of the Peacebeing required to help keep the King's Peace. Eventually they were given the right to try petty offences which had formerly been tried in the Hundred Courts. These officers were the forerunners of the modern magistrates' courts and justices of the peace. The rise of the town[ edit ] The feudal system introduced by the Normans was designed to govern rural areas which could easily be controlled by a lord.

Since the system was based upon the exploitation of the labour and produce of enserfed peasant farmers, the system was unsuited to governing larger towns, where more complex economic activity was required. At the time of the Norman conquest true urban centres were few in England, but during the early medieval period a growing population and increased mercantile activity led to an increase in the importance of towns. London, by far the largest settlement in England during the medieval period, had been marked out for special status as early as the reign of Alfred the Great.

William the Conqueror granted London a royal charter inconfirming some of the autonomy and privileges that the city had accumulated during the Saxon period. The charter gave London self-governing status, paying taxes directly to the king in return for remaining outside the feudal system. The citizens were therefore 'burgesses' rather than serfs, and in effect free men. William's son Henry I granted charters to other towns, often to establish market towns.

However, it was Henry II who greatly expanded the separation of towns from the countryside. He granted around royal charters to towns around England, which were thereafter referred to as ' boroughs '. It should be noted however, that not all market towns established during this period were self-governing.

The self-governing boroughs are the first recognisably modern aspect of local government in England. Generally they were run by a town corporationmade up of council aldermenthe town 'elders'.

Although each corporation was different, they were usually self-elected, new members being co-opted by the existing members. A mayor was often elected by the council to serve for a given period.

The idea of a town council to run the affairs of an individual town remains an important tenet of local government in England today. Political representation[ edit ] The English Parliament developed during the 13th century, and would eventually become the de facto governing body for the country.

Init was decreed that the representatives to the House of Commons would be allocated based on the administrative units of counties and boroughs — two knights from each shire, and two burgesses from each borough. This system would remain essentially unchanged despite massive increases in population in some non-borough areas, and the decreased importance of some boroughs until the Reform Act of The late medieval period — [ edit ] The decline of the feudal system[ edit ] By the beginning of the 14th century, the feudal system in England was in decline; the Black Death — causing mass depopulation, is widely held to signal the effective end of feudalism.

Thereafter the relationship between lord and vassal become more a relationship between landlord and tenant. The breakdown of the feudal power left the shires without de jure administration. The legal system and sheriffs remained for each county, and what local administration was required was undoubtedly provided by individual parishes or by the local landowners.

control and power in central local government relationships dating

In an era of very 'small government', the requirement for higher levels of administration was probably minimal. In towns, where more governance would have been required, the town councils continued to manage local affairs. County corporate A further extension of the borough system occurred in the later medieval period.

While borough status gave towns specific rights within counties, some cities petitioned for greater independence. Those cities or towns were therefore awarded complete effective independence from the county including their own sheriffsQuarter Sessions and other officials, and were sometimes given governing rights over a swath of surrounding countryside. They were referred to in the form "Town and County of Other counties corporate were created to deal with specific local problems, such as border conflict in the case of Berwick-upon-Tweed and piracy in the case of Poole and Haverfordwest.

Later changes in local government — [ edit ] In the s the office of Lord Lieutenant was instituted in each county, effectively replacing feudal lords as the Crown's direct representative in that county.

The lieutenants had a military role, previously exercised by the sheriffs, and were made responsible for raising and organising the county militia. The county lieutenancies were subsequently given responsibility for the Volunteer Force. In the lieutenants lost their position as head of the militia, and the office became largely ceremonial. From the 16th century the county was increasingly used as a unit of local government. Although 'small government' was still the accepted norm, there were an increasing number of responsibilities which could not be fulfilled by individual communities.

The justices of the peace therefore took on various administrative functions known as "county business". This was transacted at the Quarter Sessionssummoned four times a year by the Lord Lieutenant. By the 19th century the county magistrates exercised powers over the licensing of alehouses, the construction of bridges, prisons and asylums, superintendence of main roads, public buildings and charitable institutions, and the regulation of weights and measures. However, in this ad hoc system the beginnings of county councils, another central element in modern local government, can be observed.

The counties themselves remained more-or-less static between the Law in Wales Acts of —42, and the Great Reform Act of Parishes[ edit ] The ecclesiastical parishes of the Church of England also came to play a de jure roles in local government from this time. It is probable that this merely confirmed the status quo — people of rural communities would have taken care of what local administration was required. Although the parishes were in no sense governmental organisations, laws were passed requiring parishes to carry out certain responsibilities.

Fromparishes were responsible for the upkeep of nearby roads. From parishes were responsible for administering the Poor Lawand were required to collect money for their own poor.

The parishes were run by parish councils, known as " vestries ", often elected from amongst the rate-payers, but often self-selecting. The evolution of modern local government [ edit ] The Great Reform Act [ edit ] The development of modern government in England began with the Great Reform Act of The impetus for this act was provided by corrupt practices in the House of Commons, and by the massive increase in population occurring during the Industrial Revolution.

Boroughs and counties were generally able to send two representatives to the Commons. Theoretically, the honour of electing members of Parliament belonged to the wealthiest and most flourishing towns in the kingdom, thus, boroughs that ceased to be successful could be disenfranchised by the Crown. Likewise, boroughs that had flourished during the Middle Ages, but had since fallen into decay, were allowed to continue sending representatives to Parliament.

The royal prerogative of enfranchising and disfranchising boroughs fell into disuse after the reign of Charles II; as a result, these historical anomalies became set in stone.

The size of the English county electorate in has been estimated at onlyThe Reform Act and its successors attempted to address these issues, by abolishing rotten boroughs as both constituencies and administrative unitsenfranchising the industrial towns as new parliamentary boroughs, increasing the proportion of the population eligible to vote, and ending corrupt practices in parliament.

Although this did not directly affect local government, it provided impetus to reform outdated, obsolete and unfair practices elsewhere in government. The Municipal Corporations Act [ edit ] After the reform of parliamentary constituencies, the boroughs established by royal charter during the previous seven centuries were reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act The Act required members of town councils municipal corporations in England and Wales to be elected by ratepayers and councils to publish their financial accounts.

Before the passing of the Act, the municipal boroughs varied depending upon their charters. In some boroughs, corporations had become self-perpetuating oligarchieswith membership of the corporation being for life, and vacancies filled by co-option. The Act reformed boroughs immediately; there remained more than one hundred unreformed boroughswhich generally either fell into desuetude or were replaced later under the terms of the Act.

The last of these were not reformed or abolished until The City of London remains unreformed to the present day. The Act allowed unincorporated towns to petition for incorporation. The industrial towns of the Midlands and North quickly took advantage of this, with Birmingham and Manchester becoming boroughs as soon as Altogether, 62 additional boroughs were incorporated under the act.

Public welfare reforms[ edit ] During the industrial revolution there were massive population increases, massively increased urbanisation especially in previously unimportant townsand the creation of an urban poor, who had no means of subsistence. This created many new problems that the small-scale local government apparatus existing in England could not cope with.

Between andseveral laws were passed to try and address these problems. Each union was run by a Board of Guardianspartly elected but also including local Justices of the Peace. Inall land which was not part of ecclesiastical parishes was formed into Civil Parishes for administration of the poor law.

In the municipal boroughs the poor law was administered by the town corporation. Ina Public Health Act was passed, establishing a Local Board of Health in towns, to regulate sewerage and the spread of diseases.

In municipal boroughs, the town corporation selected the board; in other urban areas, the rate-payers elected the boards. Although the boards had legal powers, they were non-governmental organisations.

Urban sanitary districts were created from the Local Boards of Health, and continued to be run by in similar fashion. Rural sanitary districts were created from the Poor Law Unions, and, again were similarly governed. Expansion of the franchise[ edit ] In local government elections, single women ratepayers received the right to vote in the Municipal Franchise Act This right was confirmed in the Local Government Act and extended to include some married women.

Byit was clear that the piecemeal system that had developed over the previous century in response to the vastly increased need for local administration could no longer cope.

The sanitary districts and parish councils had legal status, but were not part of the mechanism of government. They were run by volunteers; often there was no-one who could be held responsible for the failure to undertake the required duties.

Furthermore, the increased "county business" could not be handled by the Quarter Sessions, nor was it appropriate to do so.

Control and power in central-local government relations

Finally, there was a desire to see local administration performed by elected officials, as in the reformed municipal boroughs. The Local Government Act was therefore the first systematic attempt to impose a standardised system of local government in England The counties of England at the time now known as the historic countiessince the major boundary changes of were used as the basis of the system.

The counties themselves had undergone some boundary changes in the preceding 50 years, mainly to remove enclaves and exclaves. These statutory counties were to be used for non-administrative functions: With the advent of elected councils, the offices of lord lieutenant and sheriff became largely ceremonial. However, it was felt that large cities and primarily rural areas in the same county could not be well administered by the same body.

These were part of the statutory counties, but not part of the administrative counties. The qualifying limit for county borough status was a population of 50, although some historic county towns were given county borough status despite lower populations e.

Each county borough and administrative county would then become governed by an elected county or borough council, providing services specifically for those areas. This county absorbed the Metropolitan Board of Workswhich had been established in specifically to maintain the infrastructure of London. By this time, many towns possessed liberties and franchises from royal charters and grants which were anomalous, obsolete or otherwise irrelevant, but nevertheless often cherished by the townspeople.

Some of these towns were municipal boroughs, in which case the powers remained with the municipal corporation. However, there were others such as the towns of the Cinque Ports which were not boroughs. Rather than abolish these rights and powers, the act directed that the powers should be taken over by the new county council; these powers would now be vested in the county or county borough council.

Although counties corporate were not abolished by the act, their administration was taken over by their parent administrative county or county borough. The Act therefore abolished them in all but name; they were however still able to appoint their own sheriffs, and describe themselves and 'county and city', both purely ceremonial privileges.

History of local government in England - Wikipedia

A second Act in Local Government Act also created a second tier of local government. Henceforth, all administrative counties and county boroughs would be divided into either rural or urban districts, allowing more localised administration. The municipal boroughs reformed after were brought into this system as special cases of urban districts. The urban and rural districts were based upon, and incorporated the sanitary districts which had been created in with adjustments, so that districts did not overlap two counties.

The Act also provided for the establishment of civil parishes. However, the civil parishes were not a complete third-tier of local government. Instead, they were 'community councils' for smaller, rural settlements, which did not have a local government district to themselves.