County leaders react to new Prime Minister and Communities Secretary appointments

CCN News 2016 | 15 July 2016

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County Councils Network chairman Paul Carter has congratulated both Theresa May, who has become the new Prime Minister, and Sajid Javid, who has been appointed Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

CCN wants to work closely with the new leadership at Westminster to continue the devolution momentum, and to showcase that county authorities are well placed to offer solutions to the challenges the new Government faces.
Responding to the appointment of the new Secretary of State for DCLG, Cllr Carter said:

“CCN would like to congratulate Sajid Javid on his new role as Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government.

“Building on the legacy of Greg Clark, who was a real advocate for local government and devolution, we look forward to continuing the devolution momentum and our close working relationship with Ministers.

“In what could be a significant period of national change, county authorities are well placed to provide stability for our local economies and offer solutions to the sector’s biggest challenges.

“As a County MP, Sajid will be acutely aware of both the challenges facing CCN member councils, and also our undoubted potential to deliver more for our local communities.

“With the support of the Secretary of State, we can continue to find innovative solutions to meet the immense funding challenges our authorities face at a time of increasing demands and expectations.

“On devolution, we can work with Ministers to deliver a County Devolution settlement which is both radical and flexible to local needs, with county authorities the building blocks for strong local leadership.

“Equipped with the right devolved budgets across education and skills, we can give our young people the tools they need to succeed in life. With greater control over transport and infrastructure investment, we can provide an even better environment for our local businesses to thrive. And with powers to drive integration across health, we can make local services more efficient, join up care services, and improve access to GPs and primary care.

“On the wider finance and reform agenda, we look forward to working with his new Team and the Secretary of State for Education to deliver the needs-based funding review, full business rates retention and reforms to Education and Children’s Services.”

Paul Carter headshot

Responding to Theresa May becoming the country’s new Prime Minister, Cllr Carter said:

“CCN congratulates Theresa May on becoming the new Prime Minister, and we very much look forward to working with the new Cabinet.

“In what could be a significant period of change over the next few years, county authorities are well placed to offer the stability required in local communities post Brexit, offering solutions to tackle the nation’s biggest challenges going forward, such as health and social care integration, economic and housing growth, as well as pressures on school places and access to GPs.

“Joined up public services, including health, transport, strategic planning, and skills, deliver significant efficiencies and improved outcomes for both residents and businesses.

“We will work with Government to safeguard and grow county economies, which account for 41% of England’s GVA. County services and partnerships must be harnessed and empowered to promote enterprise and job creation.

“The ‘Devo England’ agenda has even more importance, post Brexit, in bringing local government closer to their communities.

“We welcome the Prime Minister saying she wishes to lead a Government for the whole of the UK. The voice of county authorities, who represent 25million people, must be recognised as a significant part of this country.”