CCN launches the first chapter of its five-point plan for county and unitary councils

CCN Latest News, CCN News 2022 | 16 September 2022

Today the County Councils Network has launched the first chapter of its new Five Point Plan for County and Unitary Councils, designed to set out the ambitions of its member councils to the new government – and highlight the challenges they face.

Split across five policy chapters to be published over the course of the next three weeks, the plan will set out how CCN’s member councils can help solve some of the biggest economic and social issues facing the country, while also shaping and delivering the new administration’s domestic agenda. At the heart of this is a commitment to work with government in supporting families with the cost-of-living crisis, boosting local growth and productivity, while reforming public services.

The Five Point Plan’s five sections encompass:

  • Point 1: Supporting families and local services through the cost-of-living crisis
  • Point 2: Maintaining the momentum on devolution, levelling up, and local growth
  • Point 3: Reforming adult social care and health services
  • Point 4: Achieving a brighter future for children and young people
  • Point 5: Delivering housing, infrastructure, and net zero

CCN will be publishing each of the chapters over the next two weeks, beginning with Point 1 today.

Click on the button below which will take you to our Five Point Plan page, where you can read more and download individual chapters.

Point 1 Supporting families and local services through the cost of living crisis –  sets out how local communities and county authorities have been impacted by the cost-of-living crisis, highlighting the critical role of our member councils in supporting their residents through the present economic challenges. It provides, new insights on the extent to which inflation will impact on their budgets this year and next, particularly the pressures felt in adult social care. These financial challenges in turn impact on how effectively counties can support their local residents through the cost-of-living crisis.

It calls on the government to address these financial pressures in Friday’s mini-Budget and the forthcoming Spending Review. Other recommendations include extending the Household Support Grant – and distributing this to county councils in two-tier areas – so CCN members can continue their bespoke support to vulnerable individuals and communities.

The document also looks at the long-term and urges the new government to retain successive administrations’ commitments to reform local government finance, particularly the Fair Funding Review.

Cllr Tim Oliver, Chairman of the County Councils Network, said:

“I am delighted to announce our Five Point Plan for County and Unitary Councils, which is aimed at articulating how we can work with government to deliver existing manifesto and legislative commitments while proactively shaping and supporting the new objectives of Ministers.

“This government comes into office with an unenviable ‘in-tray’. But in CCN’s member councils, it has a ready and willing ally to help address these challenges. As we will be outlining in the coming weeks, empowering and supporting county authorities across a range of policy areas will allow us to be even more bold and ambitious in supporting our residents, growing our economies, and ensuring young people are able to get the best start in life.”

Cllr Carl Les, Finance Spokesperson for the County Councils Network, added:

“The country is facing a cost-of-living crisis not seen for decades, which is impacting all of our residents as well as local authority budgets themselves. This is why the first chapter of our Five Point Plan focuses on the present crisis and sets out solutions for both local communities and councils.

“With a mini Budget to take place this week, and a new Spending Review to follow, we urge the government to provide more funding for councils to address the severe shortfalls they are facing as a result of inflation, felt most acutely in adult social care. We are also calling on the government to extend the Household Support Grant so we can provide targeted and bespoke help to our residents.”