"Planning powers must also remain at a local level, to enable councils to deliver resilient, prosperous places that meet the needs of their communities."
Responding to the Prime Minister’s plan to rebuild the UK following the COVID-19 crisis, Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said:
“We are pleased the Government has pledged to invest in local priorities such as building homes and infrastructure, boosting connectivity and fixing roads.
“Local economies are different. Some require greater connectivity; some need to transition to new industries and others are short of affordable housing or adequate infrastructure.
“Investment in infrastructure will be vital, but with local control over how this funding is spent, councils can play a key role in providing genuinely affordable homes, fixing the nation’s roads, delivering high-speed broadband and high-quality mobile connectivity, boosting local economies, and tackling environmental challenges.
“Councils continue to face increased cost and demand pressures as a result of the pandemic, while at the same time as seeing a significant drop in income. Not only do councils need to be fully funded to help our communities beat this virus now but also to help support the nation as we look towards the next phase.
“Planning powers must also remain at a local level, to enable councils to deliver resilient, prosperous places that meet the needs of their communities. To fix the housing crisis, councils should be given the powers and tools to resume their role as major builders of affordable housing and deliver a programme of 100,000 social homes a year.
“We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not just recover from this crisis but to go further and address the stark inequalities the virus has exposed, develop a green recovery, address skills gaps and rebuild the economy so that it benefits everyone. With the right funding and powers, councils can get local economies started again and deliver a pipeline of long-term investment that will revive the economy and deliver long-term economic, social and environmental transformation.”