Dan Peters 13 December 2019

Devolution revolution expected after Johnson wins

Local government was this morning expecting a devolution revolution after Prime Minister Boris Johnson secured a sweeping election win.

Mr Johnson’s Conservative party secured 364 seats – its biggest majority since Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.

Former London mayor Mr Johnson previously used his first months in office to launch a devolution charm offensive, backing more mayoral models and extended powers for existing deals.

There will now be pressure on him to channel resources and power to those areas that helped him to retain the keys to Number 10 after the Conservatives were criticised for a lack of public spending during the election campaign.

After Labour lost 60 seats, leader Jeremy Corbyn has announced plans for his departure.

Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of the LGiU, warned Mr Johnson that Brexit shouldn't be the only thing on the agenda: 'Local authority finances are in a dire state after a decade of cuts with councils up and down the country struggling to keep basic statutory services going.

'Councils are currently left in limbo with no clear indication as to how they will be funded from the end of next year and no certainty as to when a financial settlement for the year ahead will be confirmed.

'The new UK government needs to address the unfinished business of localism for a new decade. Sustainable reform of local government finances should be at the top of their agenda.'

Cllr James Jamieson, chairman of the Local Government Association, said: 'One of its first priorities must be to publish the provisional 2020 Local Government Finance Settlement as soon as possible and no later than Parliament rising for the Christmas recess.

'This is absolutely vital to give councils the certainty and time they need to plan how to provide the vital local services our communities rely on next year.'

Selling the family silver image

Selling the family silver

Ryan Swift, research fellow at IPPR North, urges the next Government to stop the mass sell off of council assets.
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