SMEs show unease towards council devolution. By Dan Martin

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Employers' groups have expressed concern that proposals recommending stronger devolution of power to local authorities would lead to increased costs for businesses.

In his interim report following the inquiry into the future of local government, Sir Michael Lyons advocated giving more power to councils to help them better respond to local needs.

As a result, he said local government would be able to better manage increasing pressures on public expenditure, improve public satisfaction and build more prosperous communities.

Calling for the government to set fewer targets for public services, he claimed local councils are currently "too often focused on the wishes of ministers and their departments rather than...

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