Political Geography as Public Policy? 'Place-shaping' as a Mode of Local Government Reform

Ethics, Policy and Environment 14 (2):193 - 209 (2011)
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The release of the Final Report of the Lyons Inquiry into Local Government in England, entitled Place-shaping: A shared ambition for the future of local government (Lyons Inquiry into Local Government) was a significant milestone in the debate on local government reform. Place-shaping is a sophisticated piece of rhetoric and policy making and can be seen to have relevance far beyond its own jurisdiction. This paper traces its theoretical antecedents alongside developments in the debate on local government in England. Despite its broad appeal, we argue that problems familiar to local government such as rent-seeking and cost shifting will be heightened rather than resolved with any take-up of the place-shaping agenda



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