Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
National climate change targets are unlikely to be met unless councils are given long-term funding, devolved powers and easier access to complex government funding pots, the Local Government Association hs said.
The LGA is asking the Government to set up a joint national taskforce comprising local leaders and relevant government departments – including the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government; the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; the Department for Transport; and the Treasury – to determine the funding, legislation and policy changes needed to deliver zero net carbon emissions by 2030.
To date 230 councils in the UK, along with the LGA, have declared a climate emergency. The LGA claims the efforts of councils are being restricted by a lack of long term funding and devolved powers, and challenges with monitoring and implementation. For example, when tackling air quality and pollution, councils do not have control over all roads, as some are operated by Highways England, limiting their ability to take action.
When government funding is available, councils are still having to navigate overly complex bureaucracy to access it from more than a dozen different Whitehall departments, with a vast array of different objectives, timetables and rules.
The LGA is calling for the Environment Bill to be reintroduced as part of the Queen’s Speech and for work by the proposed taskforce to include reviewing the Bill to consider any climate emergency actions needed. It is also urging the Government to:
Cllr David Renard, LGA Environment spokesman, said:
“Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet and councils are best placed to respond to the public’s growing concern about this and other burning environmental issues moving further to the top of the Prime Minister’s in-tray.
“Councils are already doing significant work to mitigate and support communities to adapt to climate change, and can play a leading role in delivering a better environment for everyone. We can achieve faster progress by taking the lead on harnessing national initiatives at a grassroots level to benefit local communities and the environment.
“But local government cannot work alone. To achieve the ambition of net zero carbon emissions, councils will need further powers and sustainable funding, including easier access to government funding streams, to deliver national policies which impact on climate change locally.
“A joint national taskforce led by councils would harness the critical partnership between local and national government to coordinate and drive climate change action for the benefit of communities, the country and the planet.”