Responding to the report by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee on broadband roll-out, Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Digital connectivity spokesperson at the Local Government Association, said:
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become clear that access to fast and reliable broadband is more important than ever and councils are committed to working closely with the Government to help deliver on its nationwide gigabit-broadband and mobile coverage ambitions.
“As this report rightly recognises, councils need to have the local powers and adequate funding to help this ambition become
“Council housing waiting lists could nearly double as a result of COVID-19. It is vital that the government lifts the No Recourse to Public Funds condition to help prevent homelessness for the migrants who can't currently access the welfare safety net."
“Councils want to continue working with government to build on the success we have achieved during the pandemic to safely accommodate people sleeping rough and prevent individuals and families from facing the tragedy of becoming homelessness."
“The Government needs to go further to help schools pay for the cost of the pandemic. Unless the COVID-19 workforce fund is extended after Christmas, backdated and eligibility for it widened, more schools will have no option but to close after having spent their budgets on supply teachers, which will only serve to exacerbate growing attainment gaps.”
“Driving strong local action and tougher restrictions will add further pressure to already over-stretched council budgets. It remains imperative that the Government meets, in full, all the extra costs councils incur as a result of leading communities through the pandemic and income losses they suffer as a result."
“With council housing waiting lists set to potentially nearly double as a result of COVID-19, we are calling for councils to be given powers to kickstart a post-pandemic building boom of 100,000 new social homes for rent each year, including reform of Right to Buy.”
"Councils, which are responsible for public health, can help the Government meet its target of halving childhood obesity by 2030 with significant additional investment in public health and leisure services, alongside greater powers to tackle clustering of existing takeaways and to restrict junk food advertising, as part of a whole-system approach."
“It is vital that the expertise of local public health teams is used to help with the logistics and rollout of the plan, while government needs to urgently publish guidance that supports this announcement to provide clarity for schools, address questions which currently remain unanswered, and takes account of local needs and capacity challenges.”