Rt Hon Brandon Lewis CBE MP is to serve as the new Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for District Councils, the District Councils’ Network (DCN) is delighted to announce.
Mr Lewis, who served in a variety of ministerial roles over the past decade, was confirmed in the role yesterday.
The Great Yarmouth MP started his political career in local government and became Leader of Brentwood Borough Council in 2004, holding the position until 2009.
After entering Parliament in 2010 he went on to serve as Communities and Local Government Minister, followed by Planning and Housing Minister, before holding other roles including Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice. He left Government in October last year.
Mr Lewis said: “I know from my time as Brentwood Council leader that district councils have the most direct links to their communities, giving them a unique ability to support their residents. District councils play a vital role in local government, and I am therefore delighted to become APPG Chair.
“There is more we can do in Westminster to ensure that district councils have the recognition they deserve. I am keen to protect and enhance their status and look forward to working on a cross-party basis to help bring this about.
“District councils have been at the forefront of the drive to support their communities during the pandemic and now amid the rising cost-of-living. They have delivered in the past when they have been called upon and will do so in the future, especially if given the support to thrive from Government.”
He also recorded a statement on his appointment to the role. This can be seen here.
Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen, chairman of the DCN, said: “I am delighted that Brandon has kindly agreed to take on this role to support district councils from the Houses of Parliament.
“District councils have achieved so much in recent years – growing their local economies, safeguarding the environment and promoting public health and leisure, helping to prevent ill health and taking the burden off the NHS. With greater support through the national policy agenda, for instance to give us greater freedom over our finances, we can achieve even more, and we look forward to working with Brandon to help make this happen.”