The LGA has launched the findings from its inquiry into how the Government’s levelling up agenda might better strengthen local communities.
As leaders of people and place, councils have a material interest in the outcomes levelling up communities will bring, and that this ambitious agenda can only be delivered if local leaders are properly engaged in its delivery.
Over the past year the LGA has run a Levelling Up Locally Inquiry into how the Government’s levelling up agenda might better strengthen local communities. The inquiry looked beyond the Levelling Up White Paper to investigate the role local leadership can play in shaping a recovery that reduces inequality for all.
Through five roundtable discussions, commissioned research and analysis of demographic trends, the inquiry has broadened the conversation around levelling up.
Below is the summary of recommendations from the inquiry:
Creating the conditions for levelling up locally
- To better address regional and demographic inequality councils’ and combined authorities' key role in economic growth and prosperity should be recognised and they should be empowered to fairly keep the proceeds of local growth to reinvest according to local need.
- To reduce inefficiency and strengthen the case for investment, competitive funds should be replaced by a single pot of capital funding allocated according to a robust evidence base, allowing councils and combined authorities to invest in social and community infrastructure.
Strengthening the role of local government and its partners
- Pilot and quickly roll out single budgets for all places that want them under the leadership of local government, enabling better join up of public services, more preventative investment and improved outcomes for communities.
- At its best, local government leaders are representative of the communities they serve. Local and national government should build on existing campaigns to work with communities and partners to develop a talent pipeline of future leaders that better reflect the diversity of need facing people and place.
Bridging the gap between local and national priorities
- Improve policy making by giving local and community leaders a formal role in ensuring people’s experiences are a key part of policy design.
- Embed progress for those facing the greatest inequalities by working with diverse and underrepresented groups to shape the levelling up metrics and missions and evaluate tangible progress over the longer term.
- Strengthen the ability of Whitehall to act as a strategic partner to places by creating transparent and targeted cross-departmental plans to accelerate joined up delivery across government.
Independent Steering Group
The independent steering group helps shape the inquiry’s development including its evidence gathering; makes contributions drawing on their own experience and expertise and formulates a set of recommendations based around each of the themes.