CCN responds to 2024 general election result

CCN Latest News, CCN News 2024 | 05 July 2024

Following the 2024 general election, Labour has won an overall majority and will form the next government.

This follows the publication of the County Councils Network’s Manifesto for Counties, which contains over 160 proposals for the new government.

Below, the CCN responds to the election result.

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

“I would like to congratulate the new Prime Minister and his party on yesterday’s general election result. The County Councils Network (CCN) is a strong cross-party network that represents all four corners of the country, and we stand ready and willing to work with the new administration over the course of this Parliament.

“As CCN’s Manifesto for Counties outlined, our member councils will be key in delivering the government’s key priorities in economic growth, planning, and public service reform. But this requires the new Prime Minister to fulfil his pledge of ‘no return’ to austerity, whilst putting forward a radical agenda for reform of public services. With non-protected government departments projected to have a real-terms reduction, councils are at a crossroads: facing a very precarious situation with their finances, where even the most well-managed authorities are approaching breaking point.

“The agenda for reform is most desperately needed in children’s services and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision. The new government must work with councils to set out a substantial roadmap for change over the next 18 months in both areas. A failure to do so will mean costs continue to spiral out of control. Equally important is a swift and decisive decision on the future of adult social care charging reform and greater detail on the government’s commitment to introduce a ‘national care service’, ensuring any reforms do not pile further unfunded costs on councils at a time of severe demand. 

As the Prime Minister has acknowledged, it will be vital to grow the economy to create the wealth to invest in public services over the next five years. Government can secure some quick wins in boosting local – and therefore national – productivity by maintaining the strong momentum on devolution and giving local leaders key powers in transport, infrastructure and skills.

“The government’s pledge to widen and deepen devolution is therefore extremely positive, but it is crucial that ministers build on what has demonstrably worked in securing no fewer than 20 devolution deals over the course of the last two years. Using county geographies as the building blocks for deals, retaining the county combined authority model, and offering flexibility in governance will be key in devolving powers to local residents in the remaining 17 county areas.

“We are also encouraged to see the government signal its support for strategic planning, something which CCN has long campaigned for. A long-term plan for housing is welcome but planning reform must be done with local government as equal partners, not to councils. Irrespective of whether housing targets are introduced, reform must ensure we have enough infrastructure to mitigate development as well as focus on differing types of homes”.