We believe that the time has come to disperse power more widely in Britain today; to recognise that we will only make progress if we help people to come together to make life better … The Government believes that we need to throw open the doors of public bodies to enable the public to hold politicians to account … The Government believes that it is time for a fundamental shift of power. We will promote decentralisation and democratic engagement, and we will end the era of top-down government by giving new powers to local councils, communities, neighbourhoods and individuals.