This chapter deals with financial accountability. It includes a look at the treatment of the local contribution to local government finance; rates, community charge, and council tax; the interaction of financial and democratic accountability; the common law trustee concept; and statutory accountability processes. It first considers the accountability issues raised by local taxation and central government grant funding of local government. It then deals with the place of audit as an accountability mechanism, the role of the Audit Commission, and with the judicially created fiduciary duty owed by a council to its taxpayers. The discussion of fiduciary duty underlines a persistent theme of this chapter: the tension between considerations of financial accountability and representative democracy.
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