Funding certainty ‘a priority’

Speaking at the LGA’s annual conference in Bournemouth, he acknowledged that he might not be in post much longer, with the winner of the Conservative leadership race due to be announced after first went to press.

But he insisted he would continue to make a powerful case for local government in the Spending Review, “to see that local government receives the support needed and gains as much certainty as we can as early as we can”.

He said the next Conservative leader would “need to look afresh at the entire ecosystem underpinning local government and acknowledge that role we all have to play – to spot problems earlier, champion best practice and help each other improve”.

He proposed a Green Paper on a new deal for local government, which would reset the relationship between local and central government, see the sector adapting “with ever more agility to face the future with optimism”, strengthen the bond with citizens and renew democracy.

Mr Brokenshire told delegates housing would remain “our top domestic priority”, saying it was another area “where local authorities need to strengthen their ability to deliver”.

But he also called for a renewed troubled families programme, saying it was helping around 400,000 families facing multiple challenges to change their lives, by changing the way local services are delivered.

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