The LGA has long called for greater devolution to councils, for local leaders to have the powers and resources they need to better deliver locally determined and democratically accountable outcomes.
This message was underlined in our recent annual conference publication, ‘Re-thinking local’ (www.local.gov.uk/about/campaigns/re-thinking-local). The focus should be on devolving as many powers and as much funding as possible from Whitehall to councils, because devolution will deliver better outcomes for our residents and communities.
“Devolution will deliver better outcomes for our residents and communities”
We have also been clear in our argument that, just as the challenges and opportunities differ across the country, there is no one-size-fits-all model, and local governance must be shaped locally.
Councils’ work is now focused on economic recovery and renewal. The LGA has been clear that powers and resources are needed now and cannot wait for the debates that will follow the publication of the Government’s Devolution and Local Recovery White Paper in the autumn.
Simon Clarke MP, the Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, spoke at the LGA’s virtual annual conference about the White Paper, and discusses it further in his interview in this edition of first.
While ministers will consider other arrangements, Mr Clarke says the Government expects councils to adopt a mayoral combined authority model if they want to secure the full range of devolved powers and funding.
We are awaiting the details of the Government’s proposals and what they are likely to mean in practice. We will continue to press for greater clarity on these issues and to argue for greater devolution that is led by local councils and driven by the priorities of residents.
Meanwhile, I would like to thank all our speakers and those of you who joined us for our first virtual annual conference in July. I hope you will agree the discussions on how we solve the biggest challenges facing local government were fascinating, and you can catch up on them at www.local.gov.uk/lga-annual-conference-webinars.