Increased centralisation has led to a huge increase in costs. We must restore a sense of community and pride.
The Government has committed to building 300,000 new homes by the mid-2020s. But we need to deliver this with public consent.
It contained a number of positive announcements. The New Homes Bonus is particularly significant for shire districts.
On Brexit, housing and social care there is constructive dialogue and partnership with Ministers. It is delivering results.
Extolling the virtues of the Localism Act might not be a big vote winner of the doorstep – but the many achievements it has made possible are having an impact.
Councils sharing space with job centres is an example. It means an improved service – and releases buildings which can be sold to reduce debt and provide new homes.
We must seize the opportunities to provide services in a more efficient way – cutting the long delays on public procurement is an obvious example.
The Government has not reintroduced the Bill that would implement its commitment to the localisation of business rates by 2020.
Last week’s results consolidated our position as the largest party in local government – with over 400 gains.
Councils need a voice in the Brexit negotiations, more devolution deals and full retention of Business Rates.
Skills and training programmes, partly financed by the European Social Fund, are highly centralised and inefficient.