Speaking at the LGA's general assembly yesterday, the chancellor said local councils were key in delivering the vital improvements needed in public services and stressed ministers' commitment to drive forward and strengthen the partnership between central and local government.
The chancellor expressed his strong support for the LGA's 6 Commitments - its most important and ambitious policy initiative yet. The 6 Commitments aim to find new ways of improving the quality of services in key policy areas that matter to local people such as education, transport, older people, supporting children, the environment and employment.
Cllr Jeremy Beecham, chair of the LGA said: 'I welcome the treasury's commitment to a productive partnership between central and local government and the recognition of the local leadership role of councils in improving services and speaking for communities.
'We are particularly glad that the treasury has supported the abolition of council tax benefit subsidy limitation and pleased with their endorsement of new capital finance management. We hope they will take a positive view of the need to achieve a better balance between locally and centrally raised revenue', he said.
The portfolio launched yesterday details the work being undertaken by the Association and forty pathfinder councils to develop innovative approaches to service delivery and ways of working in partnership with central government and other organisations locally.
1. The LGA's Six Commitments are:
-Supporting children and their families
-Developing schools for the community
-Helping the 'hardest to reach' into work
-Helping older people live independent lives
-Delivering higher quality, more reliable bus services
-Transforming local environments wherever people live
2. The Six Commitments are being developed by forty selected pathfinder councils and will be 'rolled-out' in April 2002.