Cllr Paul Carter, Chairman of the County Councils Network and Leader of Kent County Council, said:
“Counties face a £2.54bn funding gap, and while the NHS received yet further resources today, we are left waiting for the local government finance settlement to see whether we will receive further much needed support through the extension and increase in transitional funding. We hope the Secretary of State for Local Government will be provided with financial flexibility to support local government
“Today’s housing announcements recognises that to deliver the homes the country needs, we need strategic planning and infrastructure investment on the county-wide scale. The commitments in Oxfordshire and the South-East, alongside an increase in the housing and infrastructure fund and lifting the Housing Revenue Account cap for high-demand areas, should be strongly welcomed and act as a model for other areas across England.
“The direction of travel on housing outlined today would be further a strengthened through a stronger role for county councils in the draft Statement of Common Ground and in strategic infrastructure tariffs. The Communities and Local Government Secretary has said he will listen to CCN and we will continue to work with Government.“
“Government promised to spread growth to all four corners of England, and while we welcome the Housing Infrastructure Fund extension, many of today’s announcements, particularly the money for metro-mayors, were city centric. The Industrial Strategy, to be published in shortly, must ensure resource stretches beyond the cities.
“Alongside today’s announcements, CCN is concerned that the Industrial Strategy will lead to an undue focus on Local Enterprise Partnerships developing and delivering localised strategies.
“CCN will engage with proposals when announced, ensuring county authorities receive a fair share of investment and are at the forefront of delivering the industrial strategy, underpinned ambitious devolution proposals and their role securing sustainable growth.”