These are unprecedented times in which to conduct a Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) and the Chancellor has already delayed his Budget.
As a nation, we are dealing with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people, the economy and public finances. This is alongside the transitional period, following the UK’s exit from the European Union, coming to an end on 31 December.
Many councils are in a precarious financial position with billions of pounds needed to close the funding gaps local government faces, and the LGA’s submission to the CSR makes the case for sustainable core funding.
But it also calls for councils to be able to bring together budgets of public services across a place to eliminate duplication of effort and drive savings to the public purse.
We need a collective effort to rebuild our economy, get people back to work, level up the inequalities some face and create new hope in our communities.
Responding to the significant economic challenges ahead requires renewed joint endeavour between local and national government as equal partners.
The effective delivery of this next phase will depend on all agencies working in partnership at the local level, and councils are best placed to convene this work.
No other body understands local areas better than councils, and local leaders stand ready to bring government departments and agencies together to deliver locally determined and accountable outcomes.
This will allow us to address the biggest public service challenges that have held our nation back for so long, such as social care, health, and skills and employment. Our paper, ‘Re-thinking Local’, set out our vision for this new approach to devolution.
The highly valued services we deliver have been absolutely crucial to the initial COVID-19 response by protecting lives and livelihoods.
As we begin to look forward, bringing power and resources closer to people are key to ensuring our communities prosper for the future.