35.Local government is vital to the fabric of communities across the country, providing many of the fundamental services that people rely on every day. In addition, local authorities have an unparalleled understanding of their own local communities and economies. This is why it is so important that they are fully involved in and prepared for the UK leaving the EU. We believe that the period during and after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU presents local authorities with substantial risks, as well as opportunities, and it is therefore imperative that councils are provided with adequate support from central government in terms of funding and guidance to address new burdens and responsibilities as they emerge. In the short term, the extension to Article 50 provides a further opportunity for the Government to ensure that all necessary measures are in place in order for local government to be fully prepared for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. In the longer term, there is also now a unique opportunity to re-evaluate the distribution of powers between central and local government and determine how greater devolution can be used to obtain the best possible outcomes for people and communities.
Published: 3 April 2019