LGA publishes 10-point general election wish list

5 May 17

General election manifestos must commit to giving local councils the funds they need to provide vital services, the Local Government Association has said.

The LGA has issued an “essential” 10-point list of commitments, which they believe all the political parities should sign up to ahead of the snap general election on 8 June.

Lord Gary Porter, chairman of the LGA, said it was vital for the next government to recognise the key role councils have to play in boosting economic growth, protecting vulnerable people and building much-needed homes.

He said: “The need for financial sustainability for local government is urgent.

"Councils need fairer funding to continue to provide the full range of services that support their local communities, alongside a fairer funding system for all schools.

“To build new homes, create jobs, provide the dignified care for our elderly and boost economic growth, all councils also need greater freedom from central government to take decisions over vital services in their area."

The ten commitments which the LGA want all parties to agree to include:

1.     Ensuring councils have the funding they need to provide the vital services that communities rely on. According to the LGA, local councils currently face an estimated overall funding gap of £5.8bn by 2019/20.
2.     Continuing with reforms to allow local government to keep more of its business rates income, which balances rewarding councils for growing their local economies but avoids areas less able to generate business rates income suffering as a result.
3.     Agreeing new devolution deals across all parts of the UK, including in rural and non-metropolitan areas.
4.     Giving local government a voice in decisions on which EU laws to keep, amend or scrap once they are converted into domestic law.
5.     Closing the £2.3bn funding gap facing social care services by 2020 and carrying out a formal review, involving local government leaders, to help secure a long-term sustainable solution to protect vital support services.
6.     Giving greater powers to councils to borrow to enable more house building and allowing councils to keep 100% of the receipts from any homes they sell to replace them and reinvest in building new homes and infrastructure.
7.     Giving councils the resources they need to keep children and young people safe in the future. Children’s services in England will be facing a £2bn funding gap by 2020, the LGA said.
8.     Ensuring councils have a role in determining where new schools are created and a say on the type of school introduced to their area.  
9.     Working with local government to develop a fully-funded and locally-driven successor scheme for EU funding which gives local areas full control over spending. Local areas in England have been allocated £5.3bn in EU regeneration funding by 2020.
10.    Devolving funding and responsibility for the £10.5bn a year national employment and skills system to local areas.

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