#CouncilsCan and do!

More than 130 councils took part in the LGA’s latest tweetathon in support of the vital work of local government. 

There is no doubt this year has been tough for everyone.

The pandemic has presented communities with a number of new challenges and heaped pressure on existing ones. However, in the country’s hour of need, councils have once again stepped up for their residents. 

Which is why the LGA dedicated this year’s second #CouncilsCan Day – an online social media campaign – to highlighting the critical role councils have played in supporting their communities during the pandemic and throughout 2020.  

During COVID-19, councils have provided crucial local leadership and delivered services that have been absolutely essential to protect lives and livelihoods and keep communities running.

They have continued to lead the way on test and trace, distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE), shielding the vulnerable, delivering food parcels, managing food banks, providing support and grants to businesses, and finding new ways to house the homeless. All of this on top of continuing to provide the everyday services communities need and expect.

For #CouncilsCan Day on 10 November, the LGA encouraged councillors and council staff to come together to share this valuable work and to highlight the individuals or teams deserving of recognition. 

And come together you did! Alongside 130 or so members, and hundreds of other partners, parliamentarians and individuals, the LGA showcased some fantastic and inspiring stories of how councils have supported their communities during the pandemic. 

Stories ranged from council staff who were redeployed in the early stages, to how councils are now leading on new test and trace strategies to help find a way out of the pandemic.

Many councils also used the day to thank their unsung heroes on the frontline and behind the scenes – the everyday troupers who have kept communities running and worked continuously to ensure council services run smoothly. 

The LGA’s centrepiece animation highlighting councils’ work achieved the day’s most engagement, with 736 retweets. It managed to get #CouncilsCan trending at number one on Twitter – ahead of the new Xbox launch – reaching around five million people across social platforms, showing the depth of appreciation for the work councils do.  

One of the aims of the LGA’s #CouncilsCan campaign is to call for long-term investment in local government, but this day was about much more than just money. As well as more funding, councils need more power devolved to local areas. 

As shown during 2020, councils are determined to bring positive change for their residents, but local government’s ability to make important choices is being hampered by the centralisation of powers in Whitehall. 

With the focus now on the Government’s one-year Spending Review, we hope this showcase of stories will help our cause as we continue to campaign on your behalf to get the funding and certainty councils need to carry on leading their communities and providing the essential services on which communities rely. 

Bringing power and resources closer to people is the key to improving lives, tackling deep-set inequalities and building inclusive growth across the country.

For more information about the LGA’s #CouncilsCan campaign, please visit www.local.gov.uk/councils-can

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