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The Captive Local State
Local Democracy Under Siege

By Peter Latham
May 2001
Spokesman Books, UK
ISBN: 0851246516
$6.95 paper original

All 386 councils in England except the smallest have just completed consultation with their electorates on which of three new management structures should replace the committee system, the retention of which is not an option. This pamphlet argues that the new system, imposed under the Local Government Act 2000, is the latest step in the roll back of local democracy.

Peter Latham, Secretary of the Labour Campaign for Open Local Government, analyses the relationship between class, power, and the local state. In particular he applies the general argument of Michael Barratt Brown in The Captive Party - that New Labour now articulates the predominant interest of the owners of capital in the most advanced industrial countries which have shifted from manufacturing goods to the provision of services - to the specific case of the local state. His argument concludes by outlining a socialist strategy for combating the Captive Local State.

Socialist Renewal, New Series, No. 6