I'm unclear how Shapps' demands fit in with the proposed new regulatory framework for RPs. On the face of it they would appear to be at odds with one and other.
Light touch regulation is being put in place to reduce the beaurocratic burden and create cost savings. There is also a far greater emphasis for co-regulation and tenant scrutiny. As I understand it, it's down to RPs to decide how this should work best with their customers.
So, localism is being suggested on the one hand but the Government can't help but assert some central, top-down controls when it comes to how those decisions might effect spending. This of course isn't the first time that we've seen this Government take this approach and the truth is that they still continue to assert their controlling influence in all aspects of local decision making by retaining a contolling intrest in expenditure.
The new AR regime will see only around 20-25% public funding going into the provision of social housing and the Government will have an incredible amount of information provided to them to see exactly how money is being spent.
In future, and for many already, it will be down to tenants to assess whether their services provide value for money. This will vary from organisation to organisation dependant on local priorities. Why then the desire for central Government to demand this?
I think RPs should be wary of their motives. Mergers, stock transfers and the likes have seen RPs grow quickly and they now deliver services across swathes of inner city areas. This is the kind of 'influence' that previous right wing governmnets have looked to disrupt and control in the past.