William Eichler 06 September 2022

Truss told to ‘turbocharge devolution’

Truss told to ‘turbocharge devolution’ image
Image: I T S / Shutterstock.com.

County council leaders have welcomed the new Prime Minister and called on the Government to re-affirm its commitment to levelling up and devolution.

The County Councils Network (CCN) said that the ‘most immediate and pressing challenge’ facing the Government was the cost of living crisis, but stressed that the other big priority was boosting the economy.

The association said that in order to increase productivity and alleviate the cost of living crisis, the new PM should devolve more powers and funding to county authorities.

Cllr Tim Oliver, chairman of CCN, said: ‘It is vital the new Government re-affirms its commitment to levelling up white paper and devolution framework to turbocharge devolution; going further and faster than its predecessor to devolve powers and funding to more county areas, giving them the best possible chance to deliver the productivity gains necessary in a period where low growth is forecast.’

Cllr Oliver also called for more support for county authorities.

He said: ‘They are not immune to the inflationary pressures faced by millions of households and businesses, which has added £1.5bn to their costs at least. Councils require extra financial resource from government in the coming months if they are to effectively support their residents and businesses through these difficult months ahead.

‘A key element of this increased support will be in adult social care, where services are under significant pressure with people facing long waits for care and delayed discharges from hospitals increasing. The new Prime Minister’s promised during the hustings debates over the summer to give local authorities more of the £26bn additional funding being provided for health and social care over the next two years. This will be vital in improving the quality and accessibility of care, as well as taking pressure off the NHS and it is imperative she delivers on this pledge and sets out further details in the coming weeks.’

A spokesperson for the Local Government Association (LGA) also welcomed the new Prime Minister and said it was 'abundantly clear' that further decentralisation of powers and services away from Whitehall to local communities would empower neighbourhoods.

'Now is the perfect opportunity to bring central and local government closer together to realise the opportunities devolution can offer and to deliver public services that reflect local needs and ambitions.'

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