The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has urged the political parties to consider how they can best put communities in control in their General Election manifestos.
Three big questions have been put to the leaders of the main political parties in a letter from Cllr Sue Baxter, chairman of NALC which represents England’s grassroots councils and councillors:
How will devolution be maximised with powers and responsibilities devolved to the lowest and most local level?
How will proposals encourage more people to get involved and engaged in their local communities, building resilience, empowering neighbourhoods and engaging more people in local democracy?
How will proposals ensure key local discretionary services from public conveniences to children's centres, from libraries to local festivals continue to be provided during this continuing period of financial austerity?
Cllr Sue Baxter said: “This General Election, post Brexit, provides an important opportunity for the three main political parties to set out their vision of how communities, neighbourhoods and residents can have a real say and be more engaged over those issues which are best dealt with at a local level. That is why I have asked them to consider answering three big questions as they write their manifesto. And I am urging all 10,000 of England’s local councils and their 80,000 councillors to ask these questions of parliamentary candidadtes including in local debates.”
The letter also offers the political parties and the next government three simple answers to these big questions, supported by a range of specific measures, to put communities in control through stronger local democracy with fairer funding and more powers to engage with local people and help improve the social and economic vitality of local areas.