In his speech to the Local Government Association yesterday the Labour leader criticised councils being "singled out for disproportionate cuts." I supposed it was implicit that he felt the central Government funding for councils should only have been cut proportionately with the overall cut in public spending. This would be difficult to achieve given the big increases in areas such as the NHS, Overseas Aid and our membership sub to the EU. Would Miliband have cut any of those?

He didn't mention free schools or academies but he did condemn the Government for "attempting to cut Local Government out of education." He added:

We know what their goal is. To manage Britain’s 20,000 schools from Whitehall. So much for localism.

In fact the goal is for the schools to manage themselves. That is the point with free schools and academies. It is more localist than having them run by bureaucrats in the Town Hall. If a LA found that all the state schools in its area were free schools or academies then it would be left with no schools to run. It would be "cut out". That would not mean the schools were run from Whitehall but were running themselves. It would be a good thing.

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