District Councils’ Network responds to Queen’s Speech
Commenting on the 2022 Queen’s Speech, Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, Chair of the District Councils’ Network said:
“District councils have a critical role to play in delivering levelling up through the work we do to grow local economies, shape and regenerate our local places, and tackle social inequality.
“District councils are working tirelessly to support our local high streets as they recover from the pandemic. We’re investing more than £1.3bn of Government renewal funding and attracting investment from the private sector. This is why we welcome the measures announced in the Queen’s Speech to give councils the powers they need to tackle empty commercial units on our high streets. It’s something we’ve long been calling for and it will help local town centres prosper into the future.
“We also welcome the change of direction on planning reform and are pleased that the Government has seen the sense of retaining a system with local plans and local democracy at its heart. District councils play a vital role in delivering the right homes for local residents, including affordable homes for those who need them the most. The new Bill stands to give us greater powers to do that and to ensure that local communities are involved in shaping their local areas for the better. On the face of it, the commitment to deliver better community infrastructure through a new local levy is positive. We look forward to working with the Government on the detail and delivery of these proposals.
“It’s important we do all we can to help level up the country and empower local communities to thrive. We believe devolution can play a positive role in giving local areas the powers they need to tackle economic and social inequality. However, we continue to call on the Government for stronger recognition of the valuable role districts must play in devolution and explicit provision for districts to be equal partners in county deals in all areas.”
Contact: District Councils’ Network media office, 020 7664 3333