The essential services they provide touch on the everyday lives of 47% of England’s population and 48% of businesses, across 86% of England’s landmass.
County and unitary authorities have shown time and again over recent years how they can step up and deliver for our nation at a time of national importance; whether it be continuing to deliver excellent frontline services at a time of fiscal austerity, leading the local response to the coronavirus pandemic or supporting our local economies to recover in the wake of economic shocks.
This is why county and unitary authorities, and the communities those councils represent, must be at the heart of the new government’s domestic agenda.
The response to the cost-of-living crisis will dominate the early days and weeks of this new government. However, unlike recent changes in government, this administration also enters office with a substantial majority and established manifesto commitments, alongside an existing legislative programme. There are many parts of this policy and legislative agenda that we would expect to continue, but the Prime Minister and her cabinet ministers will also want to set a distinctly new direction.
In rising to the nation’s economic challenges and in delivering their domestic agenda, the government have a ready and willing partner in the CCN and its member councils.
At its heart of this will be a commitment to work with government in supporting families with the cost-of-living crisis, boosting local growth and productivity, while reforming public services.
It will outline how the forthcoming fiscal event and Spending Review can extend local financial support to those most in need and provide local authorities with the financial certainty to support families and local public services through the cost-of-living crisis.
In boosting growth and productivity, it will call for the momentum on devolution, levelling up and local growth to be maintained, alongside practical proposals for delivering housing, infrastructure and net-zero.
To reform adult social care, health services and achieve a brighter future for children and young people, it will also set out how ministers can work with councils to ensure reforms to key public services can be sustainably implemented while truly delivering improved outcomes.