Resetting the relationship between local and national government. Read our Local Government White Paper

Local Government White Paper

Local government is the key to solving some of our biggest national challenges. With the General Election taking place in July, now must be a time for change and new hope.

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There has never been a more difficult time for local government. Rising demand and costs have meant the toughest of choices, with less to spend on the services that communities value. Yet the sector continues to show great resilience and continues to innovate.

Local government is the key to solving some of our biggest national challenges. We work at the front line of people’s daily lives. We shape places, provide vital services which hold our communities together, keep people safe, and create the conditions for prosperity and wellbeing. 

Now must be a time for change and new hope.

Our priorities for resetting the relationship with national government 

Local government can make a big difference more efficiently. We are best placed to make the biggest and fastest difference to the prosperity and wellbeing of citizens, both as providers and convenors of key public services, and as place leaders who hold the keys to local inclusive economic growth and community wellbeing.

Addressing these challenges requires a fundamental reset of the relationship between local and national government. We would like the next government to commit to our priorities to drive inclusive growth and ensure future sustainability. Our focus is on the priorities below.

Working together for change 

To address the longer-term issues we are facing we need an honest and open dialogue about what local government needs to be in the future. What is the scale of support we want to be able to provide and how should it be delivered? Are we to be the local safety net or is our future role broader than this? Now is the time for radical thinking to prepare for a new future.

To support this dialogue we want to work with the next government on three new opportunities to take the thinking forward:

  • New equal and respectful central-local partnership: the next government should establish a new partnership model for working with local government and delivering the recommendations set out in this paper.
  • Review of place-based public service reform: the next government should commission a major new review of how public services can work together to transform places, including through invest-to-save models of prevention.
  • Further improving cost-effectiveness and innovation: the next government should work with us to bring together learning across government departments on ‘what works’ to increase cost-effectiveness and innovation, enabling the development of cross-cutting solutions. We will support this by contributing learning from existing sector-led improvement support and best practice from local government.

Read the full Local Government White Paper