The Government’s industrial strategy provides a critical opportunity to drive the creation of a successful, world-leading economy and the LGA welcomes the Government’s ambition to drive growth and tackle the economic imbalances in different parts of the country.
At the moment, it is very broad and we believe needs the participation of local government to help add a clear vision and clearer local outcomes. In order to achieve this it is vital that local leaders across the country can access the appropriate levers of growth and, in turn, match the economic performance of their global competitors. We therefore ask the Government to focus its priorities and resources on the following:
- Devolving the £10.5 billion national employment and skills funding to groups of councils, and combined authorities where they exist.
- Allowing the pooling of all local infrastructure funding to enable councils and groups of councils to deliver infrastructure needs according to local priorities.
- Ensuring access to fast and reliable digital connectivity, which is a necessity for households and businesses across the UK.
- Ensuring that housing is central to the Industrial Strategy.
- Building on existing locally led economic strategies and partnerships.
- While the LGA will continue to work with the Government to strengthen the capacity of Mayoral Combined Authorities, devolution cannot simply be restricted to deals for our largest cities.
- Government has an important role to play in ensuring business and investors can rely on a sound macro-economic management of the national economy, including stable monetary policy.
- We welcome the Government’s intentions to help strengthen the many different industrial sectors that exist in the UK. It is vital that any sector deals that the Government makes must recognise the importance of the places they operate in and depend on and have the support of local leaders.
- Securing trade deals with both European and non-European countries once the UK leaves the EU will clearly be a significant task for the Government.
- Central government needs to work with local government to develop a UK regional aid scheme which replaces all existing EU regeneration funding and gives local areas more say over how it is spent.