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Law, Politics, and Local Democracy$
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Ian Leigh

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198256984

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198256984.001.0001

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Consumer Accountability

Consumer Accountability

Chapter:
(p.140) 5 Consumer Accountability
Source:
Law, Politics, and Local Democracy
Author(s):

Ian Leigh

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198256984.003.0005

This chapter deals with consumer accountability. It suggests that the development of consumerist devices was the most important legacy to democratic practices of the past two decades, although consumerism is best seen as a difference of emphasis, and not as a wide-scale theory of government. It examines the implications for local government of the Citizen's Charter and the statutory recognition of consumer choice, both individually and collectively, especially in the field of education. It places mechanisms for complaining about local services, both internal to local authorities and to the Local Ombudsman within a democratic context. A less generous lien of criticism sees consumerism as an attempt to increase the control of central government by imposing national standards or creating a direct relationship between users of local services and national bodies.

Keywords:   Citizen's Charter, performance indicators, local administration, councillors, direct democracy, consumerism, consumer accountability

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