NALC calls for the government to empower local councils and level-up rural areas to support recovery
The National Association of Local Councils has called on the government to use the Comprehensive Spending Review to empower local (parish and town) councils and level up rural areas to support England’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
In its submission to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak – himself a former local government minister – NALC has put forward proposals to empower and strengthen the role of local councils and put them at the heart of rebuilding communities and further devolution.
NALC’s own ‘rule of six’ measures include levelling up local democracy by creating local councils everywhere, fair and secure funding for local councils and investing in increasing capacity and capability of the sector.
NALC is also part of the Rural Coalition, made up of thirteen leading rural organisations, which has published Rebuilding Rural: Growing Back Better and sets out its priorities for a successful recovery by seizing the potential social and economic opportunities across rural England.
Cllr Sue Baxter, chairman of NALC, said: “With the right support and collaboration with the government, there currently exists a moment and opportunity to sustain and build on both recent years and the efforts and goodwill of the last few months, helping local councils to do more and provide the important local leadership needed for a social, as well as economic, recovery.”
Margaret Clark, chair of the Rural Coalition, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into focus a number of rural vulnerabilities. How we plan for building back better offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address these issues but also to unlock the potential of rural areas to make a significant contribution to the nation’s economic recovery and ensure no one is left behind.”