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NLGN: Rebuilding council trust a key priority as Javid stays in cabinet

Sajid Javid has retained his position in the cabinet as communities secretary following Thursday’s general election which saw the Tory’s lose their majority in the House of Commons.

The minister won a decisive victory in his Bromsgrove constituency, taking 33,493 votes, beating his Labour opposition Michael Thompson by 16,573 votes and sweeping up 62% of the overall vote.

After the reshuffle, Javid tweeted in celebration: “Delighted to be re-appointed secretary of state @CommunitiesUK. Only possible because people of Bromsgrove put faith in me again – thank you.”

The National Local Government Network (NLGN) welcomed Javid remaining as the communities secretary, as it vowed to work with him to repair the “strained” relationship between local government and Whitehall.

“We congratulate Sajid Javid on his re-appointment, and we look forward to working with him  and his team on the future of local government,” said Adam Lent, director of NLGN.

“It is no secret that the relationship between central and local government has been strained over the last year, and the secretary of state now has a good opportunity to rebuild trust.

Lent added that assuming the government secures its future in “uncertain times”, it must then focus its energies on a number of key targets going forward. These include prioritising a Green Paper on social care, establishing an ambitious framework to relaunch devolution, and move to clarify the government’s position on business rates.

“We hope that the new team at DCLG engage energetically and meaningfully with councils, to fully understand and support the clear desire to deliver and to innovate that now permeates local government,” Lent concluded.

Cllr Heather Smith, leader of Northamptonshire County Council, took to Twitter following Javid’s reappointment saying she was “delighted” he was remaining as the secretary of state for local government.

The reshuffle also saw a number of other notable appointments to cabinet and senior advisory roles in the new government organisation.

Former housing minister Gavin Barwell, who lost his seat on Thursday, will assume the role of chief of staff in Whitehall. And more surprisingly, Michael Gove, who sat in David Cameron’s cabinet as education secretary from 2010-14 before being promoted to justice secretary in 2015, was appointed as environment secretary.

Top Image: David Merzoeff PA Wire

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