Happy new year! I hope everyone was able to take a break over the festive period.
Just before Christmas, we had the local government finance settlement. We knew funding for 2021/22 would fall short of what’s needed and continue to call for a more sustainable solution.
Despite the progress made, COVID-19 continues to pose challenges, and will for some time. The good news is that vaccinations are flying out the door.
As we look ahead, changes because of Brexit, our COVID-19 recovery, planning, the climate crisis and the local elections will all need our attention, in addition to business as usual.
Our exit from the EU is already being felt, particularly in our port authorities. We must remain vigilant to the impact of other changes, including access to funding and protection of our environmental regulations.
“Our members continue to do extraordinary things in support of our communities”
The recent decision regarding Heathrow’s extension may influence government plans for large building programmes that run counter to reducing our impact on the environment. With air quality contributing to ill health and even death, our standards cannot be lowered.
Despite a U-turn on the distribution of housing required, we still have the Planning White Paper and top-down government reorganisation hanging over us, currently due to return after the elections.
There is much ahead this year, but our members continue to do extraordinary things in support of our communities, and the LGA is here to help.