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Fri October 30 2020

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New local growth plan comes with too little money, says LGA

29 Oct 10 The Local Government Association has welcomed the coalition government’s new approach to local economic development but warns that the two-thirds funding cut is unlikely to be replaced by the private sector.

Responding to the government’s White Paper on Local Growth, LGA vice chairman Cllr David Sparks said: “It is very encouraging that the government has listened to councils and has begun to look at ways to allow local authorities to keep the money they raise from local businesses.

“We have long argued that councils should be rewarded for their hard work in supporting economic growth in their area. Allowing them to keep the money they raise locally, which can then be ploughed back into their communities, will provide the incentive for local authorities to drive economic development.

“The 24 local economic partnerships that have already been announced are a step in the right direction and we look forward to this model of local economic growth being rolled out across the rest of the country.

“However, the removal of the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) budget and its replacement by the regional growth fund has resulted in a more than a two-thirds reduction in the resources available for local authorities to regenerate their communities.

“Councils are now having to look for other partners to take the place of RDAs in regenerating their areas. Those partners will not come with the same kind of money. We must therefore make sure that councils are supported so they can make the most out of the new mechanisms available to them to boost local economic growth.”

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