We need to continue to improve air quality, protect against flooding, and ensure our transport, planning, waste and energy policies are sustainable. The LGA is committed to supporting local government to continue on this journey, particularly as we begin the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- It is essential that as a nation we tackle climate change and protect our natural environment. We need to continue to improve air quality, protect against flooding, and ensure our transport, planning, waste and energy policies are sustainable. The LGA is committed to supporting local government to continue on this journey, particularly as we begin the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The response to COVID-19 has shown how vital councils are in leading the response to a national emergency. Councils have worked tirelessly to protect lives, livelihoods and the most vulnerable in our communities. They have ensured that our most important public services keep running successfully.
- National government has rightly recognised this work and it is vital that councils continue to get further support from the Treasury and adequate funding to ensure their financial position remains viable. Without stable finances for local government, national recovery is not possible.
- The recovery will look different in different areas of the country and only a locally coordinated response will be effective. The effective delivery of the next phase will depend on all agencies working in partnership at the local level and councils are best placed to convene this work.
- Around 230 councils have declared a climate emergency, whilst nearly two-thirds of councils in England are aiming to be carbon neutral by 2030, making local government well placed to support the transition to a low-carbon economy.
- A key component of clean growth is the creation of green jobs. Research from the LGA estimates that 693,628 low-carbon jobs could be created in England by 2030 . Localising and devolving skills investment, back to work support and a job guarantee will be critical to ensuring everyone benefits from these new local jobs.
- Public Transport will be critical to a climate friendly economic recovery. As a sector, transport contributes 33 per cent of UK CO2 emissions and we therefore need to reduce emissions from this sector. Recovery plans should seek to build upon the increased use of forms of active travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as waking and cycling.
- Councils will need flexibility in the use of a range of levers to support the economic recovery. Government can support this by bringing forward:
- Proposals and consultation for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF)
- An English Devolution White Paper that recognises the place leadership of councils and provides them with the powers and resources to drive recovery at the local level
- Proposals to move towards aligning a range of funding streams towards a single funding pot.