It has been a summer break we needed, but in the shadow of dreadful disasters in Haiti and Greece, and terror and sadness in Afghanistan.
I am humbled and thrilled to be continuing as the LGA’s Independent Group Leader for two years – huge thanks for your support.
Friends, this is my last column ahead of the local elections and our group elections that follow.
As I write, an election is looming.
Happy new year! I hope everyone was able to take a break over the festive period.
Our Independent Group members have been very clear on what is needed from the Spending Review, starting with certainty. Thus, the Chancellor’s statement covering only one year falls short.
As local lockdowns continue to be put in place, including the whole of Wales, we have again asked the Government to ensure local leaders are at the forefront of decision-making – something ministers have agreed and need to uphold.
September began with a growing number of challenges marching towards us – a forced reorganisation, planning numbers that make little sense, sweeping changes to the planning system that fail to address any current problems in the system, the ongoing fight for funding, a care crisis, climate emergency – and all at a time of a pandemic.
August was dominated by new government proposals on planning, scene setting for a White Paper on recovery and reorganisation, and the school exams fiasco.