Dan Peters 16 July 2020

Better response to pandemic from European councils, says think-tank

Better response to pandemic from European councils, says think-tank image

Local government across Europe has been able to react to the coronavirus crisis with greater power and autonomy than in the UK, a report published today has found.

The report by think-tank Localis, commissioned and published by the Local Government Association (LGA), said that across the western world councils have been able to react with greater power and autonomy than in Britain.

Ahead of this autumn’s devolution and recovery White Paper, the LGA urged the Government to explore giving councils the power to raise more money locally, such as through a tourist or e-commerce levy, and giving local authorities greater control over how national taxation, such as income tax and fuel duty, is spent.

The LGA said this was crucial to ensure every part of the country bounced back from the economic shock of coronavirus.

Cllr Kevin Bentley, chairman of the LGA’s People and Places Board, said: 'England is an outlier when it comes to fiscal devolution with international communities having much greater levels of financial freedom.

'As we look ahead towards the long process of economic and social recovery, this gap in local power and autonomy across England risks seeing our communities fall ever further behind.'

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