Read our 'On the day' briefing for local government.
Between the Government's first Budget in 2010 and the end of the next financial year local authorities will have seen core funding from central government reduced by 40 per cent. It is now more important than ever for the next government to look at the way public services are funded and delivered in order to guarantee sustainability.
The announcements on greater powers for Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire are a welcome initial step. Devolution of powers and funding is an important step in aligning decision-making with the people affected by decisions. The process must now be extended and accelerated across the country.
The announcement of a review of the future structure of business rates, which the LGA has been calling for, is vital. It provides an ideal opportunity for central government to create a more effective local tax, where rates and discounts are set locally so that councils have increased freedoms to support small firms and encourage further local economic growth.