This paper details the new Bills of relevance to local government and outlines our local government priorities, including issues which are not in the Queen’s Speech.
LGA key messages:
- Brexit: The UK's exit from the European Union will have a significant impact on local government and the people we represent, creating challenges that need to be addressed but also opportunities to do things differently. Local government must play a central role in deciding whether to keep, amend or scrap the EU laws which impact on the council services that affect people’s day-to-day lives, once they are converted into domestic law. Brexit should not simply mean a transfer of powers from Brussels to Westminster, Holyrood, Stormont and Cardiff Bay. It must lead to new legislative freedoms and flexibilities for councils so that local communities and businesses benefit.
- In line with the commitment to provide stability to farmers as we leave the EU, outlined in the Agriculture Bill, we are calling for clear guarantees to protect the £8.4 billion in local regeneration and regional funds. This funding is needed to protect local regeneration plans, flagship infrastructure projects, employment and skills schemes and local growth in our communities.
- Local government finance: It is hugely concerning that the Government has not reintroduced the Local Government Finance Bill in the Queen’s Speech. The Bill had set out a framework to allow local government in England to keep all of the £26 billion in business rates it raises locally each year. This would close the funding gaps identified below, in children’s and adults services. It also sought to provide powers for Mayoral Combined Authorities and the Greater London Authority to raise an Infrastructure Supplement. These measures are needed to give councils financial freedoms that will pay for valuable services.