March comment from Cllr Howard Sykes, LGA Lib Dem Group Leader

The air quality crisis that is gripping our country, the fate of our struggling high streets and the major inequalities that many of our communities suffer in health care, housing and job opportunities are just some of the things we discussed at our recent spring conference in York.

We also discussed knife crime and the need for the Government to reverse its funding cuts to local councils so properly resourced youth services can play a role in helping, alongside other parts of the public sector.

“Important though Brexit is, we can’t allow one issue to dominate our agenda

These discussions reinforced the important role that local government plays in tackling these issues. We need urgent action and imaginative ideas, and to step up to this challenge as community leaders. Important though Brexit is, we can’t allow one issue to dominate our agenda.

I was delighted to chair a meeting showcasing ‘green good practice’ from Liberal Democrat authorities and council groups – showing we are the party of the environment, taking practical action for our planet and the local environment, whatever other pretenders might say! So make sure your constituents and residents know it.

We also used this opportunity to revisit the social care funding crisis and lack of action to address the issue, reinforcing our party’s view that we need a dedicated social care and health tax.

Leadership involves making hard decisions, maybe others should do the same!