Lyons Inquiry into Local Government
News and events
This section of the website includes details of recent news and events, including press notices and other media communications and presentations.

Press Notices
27 March 2007 - Lyons Inquiry - National Conference
21 March 2007 - Lyons Inquiry final report and recommendations
19 March 2007 - Sir Michael Lyons's final report - launch and forthcoming conference
11 December 2006 - Lyons seeks views on maximising local government's contribution to future economic prosperity
6 December 2006 - Lyons Inquiry to advise Government on the implications of Barker, Leitch and Eddington for local government
20 November 2006 - Lyons publishes findings from public deliberation events
14 November 2006 - Lyons publishes summary of stakeholder events
8 September 2006 - Lyons to challenge local government and businesses to work together effectively in promoting economic prosperity
17 August 2006 - Lyons to meet businesses to discuss local economic prosperity
21 July 2006 - Lyons Inquiry engages public
5 July 2006 - "Local government's active support is needed now" says Lyons
22 June 2006 - Voluntary and community organisations have a key role to play in place shaping (Adobe Acrobat file: 100kb)
21 June 2006 - Lyons calls for councils to promote the role of housing in effective place shaping
14 June 2006 - Council finance chiefs should be "finance directors for council and community" says Lyons
8 May 2006 - Sir Michael Lyons publishes his latest thinking on the future role and function of local government
Index of press notices concerning the Lyons Inquiry
Speeches and presentations
Index of recent speeches and presentations by Sir Michael
News Archive
Index of news items featured on this site
Lyons Inquiry:
Sir Michael Lyons challenges local government to "take debate to the public"
Lyons Inquiry Press Notice: 31 January 2006
Sir Michael Lyons today developed his argument for a wider debate on local government and local government finance.
Speaking at the Euromoney Local and Regional Government Financing Conference in Manchester, Sir Michael argued that the Government may be approaching a "tipping point" in an emerging consensus about the need for devolution.
However, he also emphasised that evidence is needed about public support for a wider role for local government in order to enable this change to happen, and challenged local government to take this debate to the public.
"Many people seem to think that the debate on the role of local government and its financing is one that can be conducted between local authorities and Government ministers without wider input. That isn't true. I believe that this is ultimately a question of how we want to be governed, and we can't answer that question without taking it to the public."
Sir Michael argued that a wide debate about the function of local government will help illuminate questions about local government funding, which remains the core purpose of his Inquiry. Referring to the conference's focus on the future funding of local government, Sir Michael emphasised the potential contribution that local authorities can make to economic development.
He also questioned whether the balance of funding between local revenue sources and national grants is the most important part of the debate on finance, or whether the degree of local choice and discretion over spending might not be more important.
"A number of local authorities have expressed their concerns about the lack of flexibility that capping and Government grant decisions place on their spending decisions. But changing the balance of funding wouldn't change that. We need to consider whether a more important issue is the degree to which local authorities should have choices about their spending."
Finally, Sir Michael encouraged all stakeholders to contribute to the consultation he is currently undertaking, and to contact the Inquiry with information about the ways in which they have or would like to engage with the public.
Notes for Editors
  1. Sir Michael Lyons was originally commissioned in July 2004 by the Deputy Prime Minister and the Chancellor to make recommendations on how to reform the local government funding system by December 2005. On 20 September 2005 the remit of the Inquiry was extended to enable Sir Michael to consider issues of function before finalising his conclusions on funding.
  2. On 15 December 2005 Sir Michael issued a consultation paper and interim report, inviting responses to the questions posed by 13 March 2006. At the same time submissions received from organisations and the research commissioned by the Inquiry were also published. Further thematic papers will follow, and the Inquiry will conclude with a final report to Ministers in late 2006.
  3. Copies of the report, submissions, research commissioned, and the terms of reference for the Inquiry, can be found on the Lyons Inquiry website at
  4. Any press enquiries should be directed to GNN on 0207 217 3779.
A copy of the presentation given by Sir Michael lyons can be downloaded from the speeches and presentations page on this website
Contact details
The Lyons Inquiry has now closed. Please direct your queries to Communities and Local Government or HM Treasury.
Communities and Local Government general enquiries helpline: 020 7944 4400
HM Treasury Correspondence and Enquiry Unit: 020 7270 4558
Further contact details are available on their respective websites

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Lyons Inquiry archive
The Lyons Inquiry website has been selected for preservation by the The National Archives. Versions of this website, including publications, published documents and selected submissions, can be accessed from The UK Web Archiving Consortium website.

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