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05.05.17

LGA: Next government must empower councils with 10 policy promises

Councils have today laid out a 10-point plan that they believe competing political parties should follow in order to boost vital local services for residents as they prepare for the snap election on 8 June.

On the day that votes for the local and mayoral elections are being counted in the UK, the LGA has published a list of priorities for the new government to work on when it comes to power in around a month’s time.

Included in the plan is the need for additional funding for local councils, as well as a continuation of reform to business rates that both rewards councils for growing local economies and also does not affect areas less capable of generating business rates income.

New devolution deals across the country were also mentioned, as was the need to give local councils power to decide whether to keep, amend or scrap EU laws once they are converted into domestic law.

Unsurprisingly, the LGA also said that closing the £2.3bn funding gap for social care services should be on the government’s to-do list on top of carrying out a formal review to figure out how the system can be sustainable in the long term.

Other key issues including affordable housing, children’s services and school funding were also put forward as vital priorities by the association.

LGA’s Conservative chairman, Lord Porter, stated that councils had a key role to play in helping to generate economic growth, build homes, strengthen communities and protect vulnerable people in all parts of the country, adding that it was vital for the next government to recognise the need to empower councils to deliver for their residents and the country.

“The need for financial sustainability for local government is urgent. Councils need fairer funding to continue to provide the full range of services that support their local communities, alongside a fairer funding system for all schools,” he explained.

“To build new homes, create jobs, provide the dignified care for our elderly and disabled and boost economic growth, all councils also need greater freedom from central government to take decisions over vital services in their area.

“Local government’s offer to all political parties is clear – commit to these key policy pledges and we will deliver.”

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