Gwynne: Stop talking down councils and councillors

By Hiba Mahamadi | 06 July 2017

Local authorities need to be given back decision-making powers, the shadow communities secretary has said.

Former Tameside MBC councillor Andrew Gwynne criticised the Government for ‘talking down councils and councillors,’ adding that, contrary to the communities secretary Sajid Javid’s belief that local government is in crisis, local authorities displayed great leadership and empathy in response to the recent terrorist attacks in London and Manchester and the Grenfell Tower fire.

Speaking at the Local Government Association's (LGA) annual conference today, he said: 'He [Sajid Javid] has failed as your champion.

'LGA warnings have fallen on deaf ears in Whitehall.

'This is a difficult and challenging time for local authorities but the sector has responded with the urgency it requires.'

Mr Gwynne denounced the Government for sidelining councils during the Brexit negotiations and its £1bn deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) when social care is in ‘crisis’ and starved of funding.

He said: ‘What kind of society are we where we cannot prioritise decent care and help when people need it.

'You cannot empower local government if you impoverish it financially,’ adding that he has asked Mr Javid to clarify the Government’s position on the Local Government Finance Bill and is awaiting a response.

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