Sir Michael Lyons, Birmingham City Council's departing CEO, has
criticised Tony Blair personally for exaggerating the bad press that
local government receives.
Lyons told the IPR Local Government Conference that Labour
administrations since 1997 have created a huge gap between expectation
and actual delivery of services.
This has led to a nationwide dissatisfaction with councils and an
increase in negative stories, according to Lyons.
He said: 'One of the biggest disappointments is the extent that most
Ministers, and even the Prime Minister, have chosen to add to this by
talking of our weaknesses and inability to change.'
Lyons, who is to leave his post at the end of the month to head INLOGOV,
the Birmingham University-based institute of local government studies,
added: 'Ministers will come to the conclusion, probably in two years'
time, that an emerging gap between what the public expects and what
councils can deliver will cost them votes.'