Javid stays on as communities secretary

By Heather Jameson and Laura Sharman | 10 June 2017

Sajid Javid has been re-appointed as communities secretary by prime minister Theresa May.

Mr Javid has so far failed to enthuse the sector or fully engage.

Director of think-tank NLGN, Adam Lent, said: 'It is no secret that the relationship between central and local government has been strained over the last year and the secretary of state now has a good opportunity to rebuild trust.

'Assuming the Government secures its future in these uncertain times, it must prioritise the green paper on social care, ensuring that it is a meaningful and speedy exercise, establish an ambitious framework for the relaunch of devolution and rapidly move to clarify the Government’s position on business rates.'

Head of projects at the LGiU think-tank, Lauren Lucas, added: 'The failure of any party to win an absolute majority at such a crucial time creates a very difficult situation for local government, which remains desperately in need of clear direction in several key policy areas.

'The announcement of the election in April placed important decisions on hold, while the campaign itself has thrown others into confusion.

'The funding of local government, plans for devolution and delivery of adult social care are all in dire need of national direction.

'Local government is, however, rarely front and centre of a new government’s priorities.

'Councils currently have very little certainty as to how they will be funded beyond 2020.

'The ability to retain 100% of business rate growth locally was to replace the revenue support grant received from central government, but progress on local government finance has been complicated and slow.'

In her post-election cabinet reshuffle, Theresa May also appointed former housing minister Gavin Barwell as her new chief of staff.

The former Croydon Central MP lost his Central Croydon seat in the General Election on Thursday.

Many other Cabinet roles remain unchanged after Ms May lost her government majority.

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