Responding to the general election result Cllr Sue Baxter, chairman of the National Association of Local Councils, said:
“Our first tier of local government can provide a solution to the new government’s problems of Brexit, recent terror events, people’s disconnection from politics and remoteness from decision making, as well as continuing austerity and local public service delivery.
“As democratic, accountable and transparent grassroots bodies, local councils can bridge these gaps by engaging with the community to build community cohesion and make decisions about and invest in the economic, environmental and social prosperity of their area.
“I have written to all MPs congratulating them on their election and I look forward to meeting and working with them over the coming months on three issues key to local communities:
- to maximize the opportunity provided by devolution by entrusting greater powers and responsibilities to the lowest and most local level practicable;
- to encourage more people to get involved in their communities, building resilience, empowering neighbourhoods and engaging in local democracy;
- to ensure essential local discretionary services from public conveniences to children's centres, from libraries to local festivals continue to be provided during this ongoing period of financial austerity.
“But to grasp this opportunity local councils will need the support and help of the new government through fair funding, more powers, stronger local democracy, building capacity and increasing engagement. As new ministers are announced I look forward to working with them on these and other important issues.”