The chairman of the County Councils Network has called on any new government to implement 'genuine devolution'.
David Williams said whoever enters Downing Street next month must engage with county authorities on the big domestic issues such as housing, care and economic growth.
He called on the incoming government to set out a ‘practical devolution settlement for all’ as he addressed hundreds of delegates at the network’s annual conference.
Cllr Williams, leader of Hertfordshire County Council, told conference delegates: 'Whoever enters Downing Street must engage county authorities on legislative reform and take steps to utilise the strategic role of county authorities across economic growth, housing, public sector reform and environmental protection.
'Crucially, this must be underpinned by genuine devolution.
'A devolution settlement for all, with a practical framework for devolved powers, institutional and structural reform to genuinely drive powers down to local communities; from Whitehall to county hall.'