Political and Constitutional Reform Committee. Prospects for Codifying the Relationships between Local and Central Government
The LGRU's Director, Professor Colin Copus, has been working as an adviser to the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee since November 2010, working with the Committee and its Chair, Graham Allen MP, on an inquiry into codifying the relationships between central and local government.
Professor Copus produced the draft code on which the committee consulted throughout 2012 and re-drafted the code as a result of the record number of responses received, for a selection committee inquiry, to the consultation. The code and the committee's full report from the inquiry was launched by Graham Allen, the committee chair, Sir Merick Cockell (Chair of the Local Government Association) and Brandon Lewis, Minister for Local Government, at the House of Commons in January 2013.
Professor Copus is continuing his research and work for the committee. He is currently involved in advising the committee and its chair on the drafting of a Bill that will enshrine the code in law, and if passed, will shape the relationships between local government and central government to encompass all government departments and set new operating relationships.
The work conducted for the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee has involved meetings with the committee, its chair, ministers, civil servants and national and internationally based academics. It has drawn on the research record of the LGRU and its staff and has developed on work conducted by academics across Europe exploring relationships between central and local government. The work for the committee has also utilised our involvement in international research teams and projects and employed that knowledge and expertise to influence and shape a major policy debate being conducted in Westminster and Whitehall and across local government in England.
The committee chair, Graham Allen MP, has called the work being undertaken as a 'unique working relationship' between a select committee and a university and as 'a model for work between academics, universities and Westminster and one which De Montfort University can be justly proud'.