A year in Westminster

It is a hugely important part of what we do for our member councils, and the results of our annual membership survey back this up.

The LGA’s reputation in Westminster is strong, as demonstrated by our regular polling of parliamentarians that shows our work is valued by them.

This is a testament to the hard work of local government and all those who represent the LGA. We use this influence to good effect to shape legislation and policy through parliamentary processes.

Our approach has seen us improve the various pieces of legislation that make their way through Parliament before becoming law.  We’ve engaged with proposals around mental health, banning excessive letting fees, tackling knife crime and supporting early intervention to deal with domestic abuse. This will help councils in their work supporting their local communities.

We also continue to enjoy great success in our engagement with select committees and all-party parliamentary groups on a wide variety of issues on behalf of members. These sessions give a chance to share ideas and build consensus for local government’s policy recommendations.

This year, we were pleased to hear from the House of Commons that we are the top organisation in the country for providing written evidence to select committees. In the past year, we have submitted evidence to a range of inquiries, including those on: special educational needs and disabilities (SEND); housing; the Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy; the operation of the Homelessness Reduction Act; the NHS Long Term Plan; Brexit; future international trade policy; and domestic abuse.

In the past year, the LGA was mentioned in Parliament 957 times. Since June 2018, we have produced more than 125 parliamentary briefings highlighting the priorities in our campaigns and helping to illustrate the effects of national policy changes on local communities. Through this work, we are able to ensure central government recognises and understands the challenges councils face in delivering for their residents, and that steps are taken to address any issues as a matter of urgency.

By engaging with Westminster, we’ve helped achieve some notable successes for local government, including: extra funding to help children with SEND; the lifting of the housing borrowing cap that will enable councils to build more new homes each year; and a commitment to working with councils to explore new ways of paying for local infrastructure, services and homes.

As we look to the new parliamentary session, we will continue to lobby proactively on your behalf as we help communicate local priorities in our national Parliament.

Our exit from the EU will remain high on parliamentarians’ minds and dominate the political agenda. But for us, funding remains the top priority. With the Spending Review ongoing, we are already making the case for a sustainable funding settlement for local government and the devolution of powers to local areas. It’s also an exciting time to be promoting the work of councils and leading the conversation on their role in civic life. We are continually inspired by the work being done at all levels of local government and the strong and ambitious leadership that drives our economic prosperity and resilience. Through our #CouncilsCan campaign, we will be continuing in our role to ensure the important voice of local government continues to feature in the national conversation.

You can download ‘The LGA in Parliament 2018/19’ report at www.local.gov.uk/parliament. See www.local.gov.uk/councils-can for our Spending Review campaign.

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