Reset the dial for local government, says Solace

Solace President Martin Swales has written to Boris Johnson, the newly re-elected Prime Minister, urging him to ‘reset the dial for local government’.

The UK’s leading membership network for public sector and local government professionals has specifically asked Johnson to: provide councils with immediate financial certainty for next year and commit to a genuinely sustainable local government funding settlement for your five-year term; implement funding reforms for Social Care to stabilise the system for the long-term; introduce meaningful programmes of reform that put prevention at the heart of government decision-making; and simplify the economic growth governance and funding landscape, urgently consult on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and publish the Devolution White Paper.

The letter also highlights the ‘ever-increasing demand for both Children’s and Adult Social Care’, asking the Prime Minister for ‘a deliverable solution to fund our social care system with reforms that provide a stable financial platform’.

The organisation stressed that there ‘is no limit of ambition, passion and experience amongst local government elected members and officers to improve the places we serve’, and said that the sooner councils are provided with a certain financial platform, the sooner improvements can be made.

In his letter Mr Swales wrote: “Councils have already begun taking budget-led decisions which see further withdrawal of services from April 2020. You can mimimise the impact of these decisions by confirming the local government finance settlement for the year ahead as a matter of urgency.

“More pressing yet is the need to seize the opportunity offered by next year’s Budget and Spending Review to provide a truly sustainable multi-year settlement for the sector. This is the number one policy ask of Solace members to enable strategic and effective use of precious public funds, so helping underpin the delivery of your policy priorities in communities across the UK.”