William Eichler 23 November 2015

Welsh council leaders publish radical manifesto calling for more localism

Council leaders in Wales have called on the Welsh Government to empower local authorities so that they can better protect local services.

In a manifesto entitled Localism 2016-21, the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) offers a 40 point view on the actions required from the next Welsh Government to help create a more sustainable future for local public services.

The WLGA argues that social care must become the focus of funding from the Welsh government. This could be funded, they propose, through the creation of a Better Care Fund for Wales that should be funded through a Barnett consequential arising from £8bn of new investment in this area in England.

It also proposes that the functions of Community Health Councils (CHCs) could be transferred to local government. This way, councils could play a lead role in monitoring and providing advocacy for patients.

The manifesto also proposes an en-bloc transfer of Wales’ Public Health services into local government responsibility. This, it claims, is logical because councils are already carrying responsibilities around social care, environmental health and housing. It also points out that this has been done successfully in England.

More controversially, the WLGA also calls for the retention of 100% of business growth rates within council areas. It also wants Big Lottery funding and Wales’ plastic bag levy to be used to support public services, the Welsh Government to fund the “Living Wage” across all councils, and for a localised Tourism Tax for foreign visitors to be explored.

Austerity has cut £720m from local public services since 2010, and left councils facing a budget shortfall of a projected £940m by 2019. The measures highlighted in the manifesto would, argue WLGA, help improve services and revive struggling local economies.

The WLGA, who wished to emphasise the importance of localism, is also calling for the establishment of a £20m fund to help councils to merge services or create alternative delivery models such as community trusts and mutuals.

Cllr Bob Wellington (Torfaen), leader of the WLGA said: ’Today, the WLGA has launched a manifesto for the future of local government that has the potential to strengthen local democracy and revitalise community life in Wales. As local government leaders we make it clear that the current approach for funding and running public services in Wales is clearly not working, and that the next Welsh Government must free-up and trust local government to work with its communities to deliver a better solution.

’The finances available to run our public services have been decimated over recent years, and local councils are being forced to close or shrink back many of the services and facilities that our communities feel most strongly about. This is a manifesto designed to halt this decline.’

NextGov: Resolving the housing crisis image

NextGov: Resolving the housing crisis

The Home Builders Federation’s (HBF) policy and external affairs manager, Laura Markus, discusses what the next government should do to tackle the housing crisis.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Deputy Registration Officer

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
£24,294 - £25,979 pro rata (Pay award pending)
Rotherham Register Office is a busy service providing appointments for birth and death registrations and notices of marriage and civil partnership. Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Windows 11 Technology Support Engineer

North Yorkshire Council
£23,893 to £26,873 per annum
Here at North Yorkshire Council our Technology Department plays a vital part in improving and developing services across the whole Council North Yorkshire / Countywide
Recuriter: North Yorkshire Council

Technical and Business Support Officer

Wakefield Council
£23,500 - £29,269, Career Grade 4-6, 37 hours, Permanent
This is an exciting opportunity to join our Business Support Team Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Wakefield Council

Family and Youth Hub Business Support

Wakefield Council
£23,500 - £23,893, Grade 4, 37 hours, Permanent
We are looking for an enthusiastic individual to work in our Wakefield Families Together Oakhill Family Hub. Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Wakefield Council

Safeguarding Business Support x2

Wakefield Council
£23,500.00 - £23,893.00, Grade 4, 37 hours, Temporary
Are you flexible, looking for a challenge and a role where no two days are the same? Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Wakefield Council
Linkedin Banner

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.