Author Archives: Emily Smith

Localism under threat

Liberal Democrats are running 53 local councils. Our response to the Covid pandemic has highlighted how important are the LibDem values of community empowerment and ensuring everyone can reach their potential.

At the beginning of the pandemic Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government told council leaders to do what it takes to protect communities from Covid, gave us specific tasks and repeatedly said government would cover our costs.

In a matter of days my council has worked with communities and volunteers to set up brand new support networks to provide for vulnerable residents who are isolating, arranged shelter for all our rough sleepers and paid out £millons in grants to small businesses to help them survive. We were able to do this so quickly and effectively because we are already rooted in our communities, we understand their needs and work with local people.

But over the past few weeks government have u-turned on their promise to reimburse councils, for their lost income during Covid. So how will our cash strapped council keep afloat? How will we afford to deliver the services residents need like waste collection, planning and leisure facilities … surely, they don’t want district councils to go bankrupt, do they?

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 7 Comments
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