Councils have major prosperity role post-Brexit, says LGiU

14 Nov 16

The government has been urged to set out a plan for more independent local government following the Brexit vote, with clear powers and a vision for the role of councils in driving prosperity.

Publishing a series of essays considering the role of local authorities following the vote to leave the European Union, the Local Government Information Unit said the Autumn Statement on 23 November represented an opportunity to rethink all governance and strengthen local powers.

The Future Local report sets out possibilities for council governance, which include a sovereignty boost for councils to create more muscular municipalism as well as the case for a written constitution and for a more secure financial future of local government through a more localised taxation system with new local levies. It also sets out a plan to boost local leadership as well as calling for local government to have a more aggressive and innovative role in promoting growth, and a greater international role for municipalities.

LGiU chief executive Jonathan Carr-West said the future of the planned devolution of powers in England hangs in the balance under Theresa May’s government.

“If people don’t feel they can control what happens in their neighbourhood they will never feel that they have any agency in the world and we make it all too easy for people to look inwards and backwards rather than forwards and outwards,” he stated.

“While this is a moment of crisis, it is also a moment of opportunity: a juncture at which we are confronted with an inescapable demand to rethink the nature of our body politic and to redefine the ways in which we work together. If we can only start to do that, then this is the moment at which we can, must, dare to imagine our future [is] local.”

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