LGIU Statement: Unfinished business as budget setting continues

Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive, LGIU said:  “Unfinished business in local government policy has fundamentally weakened our resilience as a nation in the face of the worst health crisis in living memory.

While everyone’s attention has been on Covid-19, no strategic progress has been made on any of these key issues that matter to councils, even as they get progressively worse. No social care green paper, no Fair Funding Review, no business rate retention scheme, no devolution white paper.

All these problems have been decades in the making with councils left to pick up the pieces, all while operating in conditions of deep uncertainty.

And as councils across the country set their budgets on the basis of another ad hoc one year financial settlement, these uncertainties make their job even harder.

Unless we can move forward in these areas, we will hamper our ability to recover effectively from the pandemic. That recovery will depend on local government being as fighting fit as possible, but that fitness is undermined in many key areas by our failure to address these long-standing policy dilemmas.

The latest pillar in LGIU’s Post-Covid Councils project sets out a blueprint for the thinking we need to generate some vital momentum around these key issues of Unfinished Business. It builds upon a set of ideas we highlighted just before the pandemic: outstanding problems from the last decade, solutions for the next decade.”


Notes to editors

 About LGIU

LGIU (Local Government Information Unit) was established in 1983 as an independent, not-for-profit local authority membership organisation and think tank. Now as LGIU England & Wales, LGIU Scotland, LGIU Ireland and LGIU Australia we work for and with local authorities around the world, helping them to serve their citizens more effectively. Our members are councils and other organisations with an interest in local government.

We provide the unrivalled intelligence and support that officers and councillors need every day. We work with our members and other stakeholders to drive forward the ideas and solutions needed to provide sustainable public services in the future. And we deliver the commentary that makes the value of local government clear to all.

About Post-Covid Councils

This report is part of LGIU’s Post-Covid Councils project, which explores the future of local government post-Covid-19 and the main areas that need to be addressed as we move towards recovery. The key topics covered include the location of power, sustainability, place-shaping, unfinished business, trust and governance and a new municipalism.