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Darling urged to back local job creation

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The Local Government Association has appealed to the Chancellor to use the Budget to boost fiscal stimulas by backing smaller scale council-led projects.

In its submission to Alistair Darling , the LGA claimed tens of thousands of jobs could be created almost immediately by funding locally devised schemes, rather than pouring funds into mega-projects that would take years to get going.

The association called for£100m to be allocated to town centre ‘face-lifts’ to create or safeguard 60,000 jobs.

Other proposals included insulating 5 million homes by 2011 to save each household£220 in energy bills annually, and bringing forward a desperately needed programme to repair pothole-hit roads.

LGA chairman Margaret Eaton (Con), said: “Town halls have a whole range of projects on the stocks that would bolster employment, bring millions of pounds into local economies and help to alleviate the effects of the recession.”

Many experts, however, have predicted little Budget cheer for councils.

One senior source close to the Department for Communities & Local Government predicted that while the third year of the current funding settlement would remain intact, much non-core funding would be slashed.

“The Budget is not likely to have much good news and then it’s going to get worse,” he said.

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