NALC’s response to Budget 2016

Jonathan Owen, chief executive of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) said: "This is a bittersweet budget for councils at all levels with positive steps forward on devolution countered by a further reduction in spending on public services.

"Today's proposals signal an unprecedented reconfiguration of English local government and council services. Continued steps to devolve power out of Whitehall are to be welcomed, but Government must go further and be more ambitious, ensuring decentralisation extends to local communities and not just remote combined authorities with devolution deals.

"The pressure on discretionary council services, which are appreciated and valued by local people the most as they improve quality of life and well being, is immense; many will only continue to be provided if parish and town councils step up and take them on.

“But to do this and unlock this 'hyper-localism', a nationwide devolution deal is required: parish and town councils are needed across all of England, with reformed powers to support their areas and a fair funding package to enable them to invest in local services with financial freedoms and new investment from business rates, community infrastructure levy and new homes bonus.

“These massive and potentially exciting changes need urgent debate: about how communities can become more resilient and support themselves, and how best to support the increasingly vital role of parish and town councils in this rapidly changing local government landscape.”

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