“The announcement of the first new devolution deals in 20 months is encouraging and will benefit those living in the North of Tyne region and the West Midlands, but many more such deals are needed to reverse the growing sense of stalled progress and missed opportunities across much of the country.
“Councils want their residents to be able to enjoy ‘devolution delight’ rather than suffer ‘devolution deadlock’.
“The longer it takes to secure new devolution deals, the longer communities will have to wait to benefit from the opportunities currently available to areas where devolution has
“Councils are at the forefront of efforts to lead the recovery from the pandemic, which includes delivering economic growth that is sustainable and benefits all. We want to work closely with the Government to help deliver on its levelling up commitment and deliver local investment across all parts of the country."
“It is good that the Government has pledged to invest in providing full-fibre broadband in hard-to-reach areas. Councils have long-called for funding and support to bridge the digital connectivity gap so that rural communities are not left behind."
Responding to a report from the House of Lords Public Services Committee on the Government’s ambition to level up the country, Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said:
“The pandemic has shown that, with the right funding and freedoms, councils can improve people’s lives. It is therefore important that this report recognises that the recovery from COVID-19 needs to include greater powers being given to local councils and their communities.
“Bringing greater resources and powers over key responsibilities, such as skills, transport and housing, closer to