On behalf of its membership, the cross-party LGA regularly submits to Government
consultations, briefs parliamentarians and responds to a wide range of parliamentary inquiries. Our recent
responses to government consultations and parliamentary briefings can be found here.
We welcome the introduction of the Fire Safety Act and the Building Safety Bill and hope they will be an important step in the right direction. We are however concerned about some of the practicalities of the implementation of new fire safety legislation for both resident safety and local authorities.
The White Paper will build on actions the Government is already taking to level up across the UK and will set out “bold new policy interventions to improve livelihoods and opportunities in all parts of the UK.”
All new duties included within the Bill must be fully funded to enable councils effectively deliver them. It would also be helpful for the Government to extend the Violence Reduction Unit funding, already made available to 18 Police and Crime Commissioners, to the remaining 23 local areas.
The LGA welcomes this Bill which would make it mandatory for licensing authorities to access vital background information about drivers seeking a licence in their areas. This will support the work of councils to ensure anyone using a taxi or private hire vehicle (PHV) is kept safe.
Councils and households are working together to increase recycling rates, with plastic packaging collected by councils doubling over the past decade. Councils are ready to take on the challenge of improving recycling rates further.
Local government is already prioritising environmental goals, including leading the way towards achieving net zero carbon, increasingly with ambitious plans to achieve this before the Government’s 2050 target.
It is important that the funding made available during COVID-19 is not a one-off emergency response. A recent report by the Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping found that the elevated funding made available to local authorities amid the pandemic should be maintained if the Government wishes to achieve its pre-election commitment to end rough sleeping.
Property continues to provide a good basis for a local tax on business. Business rates is efficient to collect and has been relatively predictable and buoyant in recent years. However, the changing nature of business alongside the nature of demand pressures on councils means that we cannot look to business rates to form such a substantial part of local government funding in the future and alternative means of funding councils will be needed instead of or as well as a reformed business rates system, of which one example is a tax on online businesses.