It’s been yet another period of rapid developments affecting local government, and I was reminded once again of the phenomenal work that councils have been delivering for months on end, in some of the most uncertain times many of us have ever known.
One of the most rewarding parts of my LGA role is the conversations I have with colleagues across the country as you share your insights, innovations and concerns so we can press your priorities on the national stage.
I am always astounded by the sheer breadth and depth of the incredible work you are doing in your communities and with your businesses – supporting them through the most difficult period in all our lifetimes.
Like never before, councils have provided much needed local leadership in our communities and across other public services. We have demonstrated our agility and responsiveness by re-thinking what is possible and prioritising what is most valued and needed, while keeping vital services running.
I know the personal toll leadership can take in such trying times and wanted to say thank you to every councillor and officer who has helped to enhance local government’s reputation with the nation.
Challenges, of course, remain and for many councils 2021/22 looks like it will bring very significant financial pressures.
The forthcoming Spending Review is critical, despite being reduced from a three to one-year review. The LGA produced a detailed and evidenced submission (see first 652), which highlights both the funding needed to stand still, and the investment required to rebuild our communities in a way that levels up inequalities and ensures every area can prosper.
You can support us in making the case to national politicians for the powers, flexibilities and funding you need, by helping your local MPs understand the services that are under the most pressure in your areas, and the implications that under-funding could have for residents. This will help bring to life the real consequences of the crisis we face.