The District Councils’ Network today publishes its Manifesto. It sets out the key policies for which the district councils would like support from the political parties in their general election manifestos. The Manifesto sets out the essential work that district councils perform and proposes ways we can help an incoming government do more for less.
Cllr Neil Clarke, Chairman of the District Councils’ Network said: “District Councils, local, efficient and close to our localities, are Key Strategic partners for any Government and continue to be ready to deliver any future Government’s local agenda which supports and grows the communities we serve. The District Councils’ Network wants to take the opportunity to positively contribute to future Local Government policy and our Manifesto sets out our offer to whoever forms the next government.
The manifesto was built with cross party support and input and covers all the major areas of political interest – financial efficiency, jobs, housing, health and welfare reform. We believe there is a big job to be done in further enhancing the recovery within our communities and firmly believe that District Councils, are best placed to deliver in partnership with both our communities and local partners within the public, voluntary and private sector. ”
The five priorities outlined in the Manifesto are:
- Allow us to become financially independent by giving us access to additional sources of self-generated funding. This includes expanding the New Homes Bonus to include infrastructure projects, and removing the Housing Revenue Account Cap, so we have more resources to invest in our communities and critical infrastructure.
- Streamline the planning system so we can respond more quickly to appropriate and responsible development.
- Make District Councils the default provider of choice for delivering Universal Credit so we can integrate benefits with support such as debt advice provided by our partners to help address the barriers that prevent people getting back into work.
- Commit to issuing local government settlements across whole Parliament terms to give us budgetary certainty.
- Expand the criteria for the Troubled Families programme so that we can work with more families who have multiple problems. Develop a financial framework that takes full account of the role District Councils play and our upfront contributions in the savings achieved.
The District Councils’ Network will use its Manifesto in the run-up to the general election to ensure that all political parties understand that working with District Councils provides the opportunity to deliver national services at a local level.
District Councils’ Network Manifesto
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Notes to Editors:
District councils are part of the two-tier structure of local government covering 67% of England and 38% of the population.
District councils deliver 86 of the 137 essential services local government delivers as a whole. They are closest to residents and best able to respond and customise services at a scale people recognise and relate to.
District Councils are financially efficient and provide excellent value for money for local taxpayers. In 2013/14 the average Band D council tax for District Councils was £170 a year – £3.27 a week.
The District Councils’ Network is a member led network of 200 district councils. We are a Special Interest Group of the Local Government Association (LGA), and provide a single voice for district councils within the LGA and to Central Government.
- The District Councils’ Network was established in 2009 and works on behalf of all district councils nationwide.
- All district councils are represented on the Network’s Assembly by council leaders nationwide.
- An elected group of leaders represent the district councils nationwide on 22-strong Executive.
- A corresponding group of Chief Executives represent councils on the Chief Executives Network.
Chairman of the District Councils’ Network / Executive: Cllr Neil Clarke MBE, Rushcliffe Borough Council.
Vice Chairs: Cllr Sharon Taylor MBE, Stevenage Borough Council, Cllr Ric Pallister, South Somerset District Council and Mayor Tony Egginton, Mansfield District Council.
Chairman of Chief Executive Network: David Buckle, Chief Executive of Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire District Council.