Why Reform Local Government?
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A number of reasons for reforming local government have been proposed by public policy architects over recent years. These include, inter alia, the desire to reduce the number of local governments, a supposed need to increase the size of local government, efforts to enhance efficiency and redress waning financial sustainability, a desire to improve the quality of local government political representatives and executives, as well as to address voter disengagement or disillusionment with local government. In this chapter, I link these reasons to the reform options that will be covered in the remainder of this book. Notably, I also canvas my growing suspicion that local government reform is sometimes undertaken for reasons far removed from those articulated. I conclude by reflecting on how the various reforms might be expected to bring local government closer to the people and serve the people best.
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