In responding to a report by the Lords Public Services Committee, which outlined the lessons learnt from Covid-19, the Local Government Association (LGA) has reiterated the vital role that local authorities have played during the pandemic.
The report highlighted a number of key areas of difficult and learning which have come out of the virus, including challenges around insufficient support for prevention and early intervention, inequality of access to high-quality public services and the fragility of adult social care.
But it also reflected on the positive teaching taken away too, from the empowering local public services and communities through to new emerging approaches to data-sharing.
Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the LGA, in response to the report, said: “Councils have played a crucial role during the pandemic and have demonstrated the strength that comes from local leaders able to work with others and their communities.
“This wide-ranging, comprehensive report provides some good recommendations for how we can build upon the relationships between central and local government, to ensure our local public services are better prepared and our areas more resilient to any future health crisis.
“As the committee makes clear, the coronavirus response has proved that certain key public service functions are best delivered locally, alongside the funding and flexibilities to do so.
“Reducing health inequalities, supporting early intervention including for vulnerable children, urgent reform of adult social care, increased data sharing and greater local decision-making powers are among proposals we strongly agree with.
“The upcoming Spending Review is an ideal opportunity for government to consider how it can empower and resource councils to continue supporting their communities as they set their budgets for next year, through the rest of this crisis and beyond.”