Recent years have witnessed a considerable extension in the defined activities covered by the CCT regime in UK local government. While the 1980 saw CCT applied to mainly manual services (such as refuse collection), the 1990 have witnessed the spread of compulsory competition into white-collar professions and services such as Housing Management. Recent accounts of CCT have tended to assess its overall impact within a framework that is mainly informed by the emphasis on how the management of local public services will benefit from the contemporary introduction of Competition and Quasi-Markets. While CCT has clearly had some important managerial implications, this article argues that its more important political impact has been to intensify central control and regulation in order to restructure the local welfare state. In this sense, the vocabulary of the market has served to camouflage a process of centralisation which is characteristic both of New Right ideology and more traditional concerns within the UK political system.