In 2018/19 councils have continued to confront the challenges facing local government as well as promote opportunities to do things differently. We have continued to focus on issues such as fair funding and fiscal devolution, adult social care, children’s services, housing and preparing for Brexit.
Through our engagement with Whitehall and Parliament, our campaigning, our media work and our programme of events across the country, we have secured positive changes for local government.
At the same time, we continued to support councils. We have delivered 115 peer challenges in the last year and 800 councillors took part in our leadership programmes.
We continue to be the national voice of local government and central government is listening to us. In the Budget, our influence helped deliver more than £1 billion of short-term funding. This included new money for adults’ and children’s social care, road repairs, high streets regeneration and homelessness. Our focus will now turn to the Spending Review and longer-term, sustainable funding.
In July, the continued absence of the Government’s social care Green Paper prompted the LGA to publish its own – ‘The Lives We Want to Lead’ – widely recognised as leading the debate on how we fund and deliver social care in the future and the basis for our continued campaigning in the coming year.
In October last year the housing borrowing cap was scrapped. This shows that Government has recognised that councils must be part of the solution to our chronic housing shortage and that only an increase of all types of housing – including affordable and those for social rent – will solve the housing crisis.
Our work to support councils as we leave the European Union secured extra funding to help councils prepare for our departure and a guarantee from Government that EU funded projects would continue to be funded by the Treasury to the end of 2020.
In February we launched our #CouncilsCan campaign, outlining to Government what local authorities want to see from the next Spending Review. Over the next year we will seek to build the strongest possible case for a long-term, sustainable funding solution for local government
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