Debate on neighbourhood services provided by district councils and other local authorities, House of Lords, 24 October 2019

District councils are at the heart of delivering on many of the key issues that matter to communities. This includes services such as housing, planning, waste and recycling services, as well as leisure centres, museums and parks.


Key messages

  • The Local Government Association’s (LGA) #CouncilsCan campaign has highlighted the work of councils delivering for their communities. As leaders of place, councils build desperately needed homes, create jobs and school places, provide dignified care for older and disabled people, and boost economic growth.
  • District councils are at the heart of delivering on many of the key issues that matter to communities. This includes services such as housing, planning, waste and recycling services, as well as leisure centres, museums and parks.
  • The levels of statutory homelessness is continuing to rise and 1.1 million people remain on council waiting lists. Solving the housing crisis will support people to live well for longer in their homes and will help relieve pressure on health and social care.
  • Council planning departments are under-resourced and taxpayers are subsidising the costs of planning applications by around £200 million a year. A proactive, well-resourced planning system could do far more to deliver the additional homes the country needs.
  • Waste and recycling services are used by all council taxpayers and represent the biggest spend in a council’s budget. Any changes to waste services and additional costs must be fully funded to reduce the financial strain local government faces.
  • Community assets such as parks are also inadequately resourced. Some councils are having to find innovative ways to keep parks open due to limited funding.
  • The Spending Round provided councils with an additional £3.5 billion for council services, including an extra £1 billion for social care. With this investment, councils will be better able to ensure older and disabled people can live the lives they want to lead.
  • While the announcements from the Spending Round were positive and demonstrated the Government listened to some our concerns, other key services remain underfunded.
  • The LGA and councils are successfully making the case that investing in local government is good for the nation’s prosperity, economic growth and health and wellbeing. With new powers, funding and long-term certainty, councils will continue to lead their local areas and improve the lives of their residents.

Read the full briefing
Debate on neighbourhood services provided by district councils and other local authorities, House of Lords, 24 October 2019