Local leadership is never more important than in a wartime theatre, as we feel we are in now. A huge thank you to all of you supporting our communities in their hour of need.
Our Independent council leaders and LGA leadership team are working well together, providing sound evidence and examples to demonstrate our case and making clear everything councils are doing at this critical time – delivering care, supporting our vulnerable and keeping our waste services running, to name a few.
“It’s reassuring to hear ministers say they’re standing with councils”
We have repeatedly called on the Chancellor and Secretary of State to back up council finances fully, deliver promised personal protective equipment and to allow councils to do what they’re best at – delivering what our residents need.
We were told to do whatever it takes and it’s reassuring to hear ministers say they’re standing with councils. We now need to make sure they deliver on the promises made.
We remain committed to delivering business as usual. Remote meetings, including planning, continue and it is more important than ever for our members to be active representatives of our electorates, to challenge and scrutinise decisions so that when the crisis is over, we do not face challenge or developments we don’t need.
Each council will have different ways of working, but your ability to represent your residents should be protected.
While we continue to manage the day-to-day challenges from COVID-19, we’re also thinking about what is needed for recovery – financially, environmentally and socially – for our communities, councils and country.
I will miss meeting you in Harrogate this year at the LGA’s annual conference, following the difficult decision to cancel. But we’re hoping to hold virtual events, and plans are still in place for the LGA’s Independent Group conference in the autumn. I hope to see many of you then, all being safe. In the meantime, our think tanks, bulletins and support continue to keep our group strong and discussions live during this critical time.