This business plan, updated in 2020, sets out how the LGA will continue to support and be an advocate for councils.
Every day councils make a difference, delivering essential services that improve the lives of millions. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the value of local leadership like never before, by providing much-needed support to people, businesses and communities that have protected lives and livelihoods.
We know that residents trust their councillors, as democratically elected leaders, to make the right decisions for them and their families, now and in the future. The Local Government Association’s (LGA’s) polling shows that 73 per cent of residents trust their local council to make decisions about how services are provided in their local area.
These services assist vulnerable people, support the homeless into safe accommodation, deliver new homes, give children and young people with the best start in life, providing dignified care for vulnerable people, help local businesses, and combat climate change. Just a few of the everyday examples of councils supporting our nation where they need it most.
As we look forward, there is an important opportunity to address the inequalities the pandemic has exposed and that have remained entrenched for too long, to connect with people’s identities and sense of community, and to rebuild the economy so that it benefits all of our residents.
It is therefore vital that we support councils to ensure they are equipped to meet the challenges we face today, are empowered to innovate and create services that are tailored to their localities, and are resilient to navigate what the future may bring.
This updated business plan sets out how the LGA will continue to support and be an advocate for councils. Our priorities have been reviewed and reshaped this year, to recognise the uncertainties facing local government and us as your membership body. We recognise that we will need to remain flexible, shifting our focus as the need arises.
As we rebuild our communities after the pandemic, our Re-thinking local campaign will demonstrate how councils, with the right tools and resources, can deliver on the ambitions we have for the diverse communities we represent. Through our #CouncilsCan campaign we will make the case for a new settlement for English local government that gives councils and councillors the powers, freedoms, certainty and sustainable funding to transform our communities for the better.
Promoting the value of local government and supporting councils in their roles as community leaders remains our central mission. Alongside the challenges that a global pandemic brings, we are moving into a critical period for local public services. A one-year Spending Review, plus the possibility of greater devolution of powers to local areas, significant planning reforms and the opportunity to make the case for a long-term settlement for social care. We will continue to be flexible, promoting councils’ priorities on emerging issues such as new measures to coincide with the end of the EU transition period and on proposed changes to areas that are delivered locally, such as public health.
Our lobbying work will always centre around the things you tell us are important to you, as we work with government and Parliament to ensure that councils’ ambitions for our communities are reflected in national decision-making. Through our sector-led improvement work, we have further developed our offer to provide councils with the support to assist the challenges of COVID-19 and its consequences while working closely with the Government on priority issues. We will continue to offer a helping hand to councils as they improve, innovate and seek to demonstrate their resilience now and into the future.
This business plan sets out the priorities that councillors and officers have told us you want us to focus on. It will be continually reviewed and tested out with our membership to ensure we are always providing the best possible support to councils.