Wednesday 1 July 2020 / 12:01 AM Keir Starmer / Local Government

Keir Starmer: Coronavirus and Government inaction have created a perfect storm for local councils

Keir Starmer will today [Wednesday] warn that the Coronavirus crisis and the Government’s inaction have created the “perfect storm” for local councils across the country, risking the decimation of local services.

In a speech via Zoom to the Local Government Association (LGA) Annual Conference, the Labour leader will highlight a “black hole of around £10bn” in council finances if government fails to act.

Setting out a vision to “build a new relationship between national and local government” Starmer will pledge that a Labour government would:

“Give local government a much bigger say over investment and services, not through plans devised by someone in an office on Whitehall, but ones created and rooted in communities, so that they truly serve the people.”

Starmer will also reiterate his commitment to replacing the House of Lords with “a democratic second chamber representing the nations and regions of the UK.”

In his speech to the LGA, Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party will say:

“A Labour government would win power in order to hand it back to the nations, regions, cities and towns across our country.

“We would give local government a much bigger say over investment and services, not through plans devised by someone in an office on Whitehall, but ones created and rooted in communities, so that they truly serve the people.

“We would put local government, its power and its innovation, straight at the heart of Westminster by replacing the House of Lords with a democratic second chamber representing the nations and regions of the UK.

“And we would give councillors, communities and people on the front line in our public services a bigger say over the decisions that affect them.

“Because at the heart of the broken trust in national politics and politicians is a feeling that we aren’t listening.”

He will add:

“But working with you, we want to prove this wrong. And truly empower local communities.

“So, where services people use in their daily lives are no longer a source of convenience but frustration – let’s make them truly accountable to the people they serve.

“And where politics feels distant or remote or like something that is ‘done to’ people rather than ‘with them’ and ‘for them’ – let’s break down those barriers to make sure people have the power to make their voices heard.

“And where government in Westminster imposes decisions and cuts that trample on innovation, put business out of action or damage people’s lives and livelihoods without fully understanding the consequences – let’s offer a vision of a fairer Britain that will be better for everyone.”