Cabinet reshuffle: CCN response

CCN Latest News, CCN News 2020 | 13 February 2020

The Prime Minister is currently undergoing a cabinet reshuffle, with Rishi Sunak announced as the new Chancellor.

Mr Sunak had previously been a local government finance minister at the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government – and played a significant role in the Fair Funding Review.

Cllr David Williams, chairman of the County Councils Network, said:

“The appointment of Rishi Sunak as the new Chancellor is hugely important for local government – he has a deep understanding of the challenges councils have faced, and we’ve worked closely with him on a number of agendas during him time as local government minister.

“He is someone who knows that councils will have a huge role to play if the government’s ‘levelling-up’ agenda is to be successful. It is now up to us to show the benefits of investing in local government – enhancing rather than preserving services, investing in clean growth, levelling-up our communities, and ensuring that our vulnerable – both young and elderly – are given the best possible care.”



The government has since announced that the Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State at the Ministry for Housing, Communities, and Local Government, is to stay in post.

Cllr David Williams, chairman of the County Councils Network, said:

“The confirmation that Robert Jenrick is to stay as Secretary of State at the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government is great news for the local government sector, providing clarity in what will be a significant year for councils. I would like to congratulate Robert, with whom I have an excellent relationship.

“He forcibly made the case for councils to the Treasury last September, and I know he has an ambitious vision for local government which will be outlined in the forthcoming devolution white paper and planning reforms. We need to move the sector away from ad-hoc funding, and we want to work with him to ensure that county authorities have the finance and powers so they can continue to deliver the services our communities need and expect, whilst investing in clean growth and levelling-up the left behind areas.

“Above all, we welcome Robert and his ministerial team’s re-commitment to the Fair Funding Review and we will continue to support this policy’s implementation ahead of the 2021/22 financial year. Having got this far, it is imperative that this new methodology genuinely seeks to rebalance what is an outdated and unfair system, which is unfit for purpose.”

Finally, Tamworth MP Christopher Pincher was appointed the new housing minister in the reshuffle.

Cllr David Williams, chairman of the County Councils Network and leader of Hertfordshire County Council, said:

“We welcome the appointment of Christopher Pincher as the new housing minister. With a majority government now in place, the minister has the chance to set out a long-term vision for planning and housing, whilst having the capacity to implement tangible reform.

“The government should seek to move away from simply planning by numbers; instead focusing on homes of all tenures, in the right places matched with the right infrastructure. As a county MP, Christopher will be aware of the particular issues in the shire counties: they contain the least affordable housing outside of London and face significant gaps in funding for the infrastructure to compliment new development.

“Therefore, the minister should consider the recent Building Better, Building Beautiful commission’s recommendation that strategic planning be introduced in county areas, giving the county council a formal role and helping to link infrastructure and housing. This will allow us to target the right homes for the right areas, backed with the necessary infrastructure to create sustainable communities.”