Money is currently top-sliced from Revenue Support Grant (RSG) to fund organisations responsible for providing services to local authorities. The LGA proposes:
- A reduction in annual top-slice funding. The consultation is not overly concerned with the actual amount, as this will be revealed during this autumn's Spending Review.
- Defining a 'sole specified body' to receive all top-slice funding.
- That the 'sole specified body' will decide how to allocate top-sliced funds to deliver key objectives.
The 'key objectives' mentioned above in point 3. would need to be agreed with Eric Pickles before delivery could take place.
There are currently nine specified bodies which the LGA wants to 'delete' from the Revenue Support Grant (Specified Bodies) Regulations 1992.
Annex A of the CLG's consultation charitably suggests that, 'A decision to de-specify these bodies would not necessarily result in their closure...' The Nine are:
- Improvement and Development Agency for Local Government (IDeA)
- Employers’ Organisation for Local Government
- Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS)
- Public Private Partnerships Programme (4Ps)
- Fire Services Examinations Board
- Local Government International Bureau
- National Foundation for Educational Research in England and Wales
- National Institute of Adult Continuing Education
- National Youth Agency
The LGA has slowly emerged as a key delivery agent of the coalition's decentralisation agenda. Their Chairman Baroness Margaret Eaton said, "We are delighted that the Government has responded so positively and creatively to this initiative".
While the Baroness' remark probably isn't an example of Pluralis Majestatis - or 'the royal we' - it will be interesting to watch future developments.