Making economic development a statutory duty for councils would be a rare win-win

The sector wants to make economic development services a statutory duty for councils. Abdool Kara says the challenge for local authorities is to open the Treasury’s eyes to the prize it considers could be available.

We often talk about the sector being in an age of austerity, which started with the then new chancellor's June 2010 ‘emergency' Budget. Such terminology evokes the idea such ‘ages' have a beginning and an end, like the Roman Empire, or the Jurassic period. The problem is that there is no end in sight to austerity regardless of who wins the next election.

This is because of the underlying economics of the UK: due to structural reasons, including the advent of greater worldwide competition for resources alongside an ageing population, the economy will struggle to grow more quickly than population needs.

Abdool Kara

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