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LGA responds to Localis Report on Industrial Strategy

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Chairman of the Local Government Association's People and Places Board, responds to the new Localis report on the Industrial Strategy.

"This report is right to highlight the crucial role councils must play in developing the Industrial Strategy to ensure it drives growth and tackles economic imbalances across the whole country.

"We can only truly build a world-class economy if every local economy across the country is firing on all cylinders. For that to happen, all councils need greater freedom and funding from central government to build more homes, secure the infrastructure essential to economic growth, improve our roads, equip people with the skills they need to succeed and increase access to fast and reliable digital connectivity for all.

"Areas across the country have worked hard to produce ambitious and innovative devolution proposals and secure deals, but some local areas are increasingly concerned that the pace of devolution risks being lost because of the existing top-down approach to governance.

"It is important that we build on existing locally-led economic strategies and partnerships, and not create unnecessary uncertainty or confusion through the creation of new institutions or structures. To see more deals agreed sooner rather than later, the Government should work more flexibly with local areas to agree deals, recognise that not all deals need to follow the same governance framework and commit the resources necessary to get those deals over the line. 

"The ability to determine local approaches to investment and public services that support inclusive growth must be available to all who call for it."

View report:  http://www.localis.org.uk/research/the-making-of-an-industrial-strategy/

Notes to editors

  • In response to the Government's Industrial Strategy Green Paper, the LGA is calling for a number of measures including:
  • The £10.5 billion national employment and skills funding devolved to groups of councils, and combined authorities where they exist.
  • Allowing the pooling of all local infrastructure funding to enable councils and groups of councils to deliver infrastructure needs according to local priorities
  • Financial freedoms for councils to invest in housing solution to support a world-leading economy. Investment in national infrastructure must support housing delivery.
  • Central government to work with local government to develop a post-Brexit UK regional aid scheme which replaces all existing EU regeneration funding and gives local areas more say over how it is spent.
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