Local elections 2017: CCN response

CCN Latest News | 17 May 2017

Cobbled Street

The County Councils Network (CCN) partnered with the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) on coverage of this year’s local elections, which concluded last week.

You can read a final briefing from LGiU on the results here.

Simon Edwards, director of the County Councils Network, said:

CCN looks forward to working with all members, both new and old, who have been elected today to county seats. The network has evolved considerably as an organisation from the last county election cycle, becoming a key influencer in local and national issues.

Clearly, the results of the local elections will be analysed by commentators with a general election around the corner. But with counties delivering the majority of local services in their areas, todays result will have a big impact on ordinary peoples lives, whether that is social care services for their loved ones, using public transport to access employment opportunities, having a library on their doorstep, or ensuring their children go to the local school of their choice.

With attention now turning to June, we enter a crucial period for county authorities. Considering the councils that make up CCN represent almost 26million people, it is crucial that whichever party governs the county from next month listens to counties and their communities, whether that be on domestic economic policy, the future of social care funding, business rate retention, and of course, Brexit. CCN, as a strong cross-party organisation, will continue to ensure the county voice is heard.

On the voter turnout and implications for devolution, Mr Edwards added:

“The picture across the country where turnout figures are available shows that more people are getting out to vote in county areas compared to the urban metro mayor contests.

Importantly, this arguably shows people identify more with their county and the strong local governance already in place in rural England; showcasing why there should not be an arbitrary requirement for a directly-elected mayor in place for significant devolution deals to take place in Englands counties.

CCN was quoted in a BBC News story on voter turnout. You can read the piece here.