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LGA: 'councils deliver in recession'

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The Local Government Association has detailed how councils across England are providing front-line help to people and businesses as the economic slowdown bites.

An LGA report shows how councils are using new powers devolved from the Government and chair Margaret Eaton argues that the drive to localism has become even more urgent.

A new publication, 'Global Slowdown, Local Solutions: councils helping people and businesses', demonstrates how councils are preparing for the recession.

Examples given in the publication include:

  • Wakefield MDC, which is offering people at risk of repossession interest free loans to make sure they can stay in their own homes

  • Lancashire CC, which has identified over 500 people who weren’t claiming benefits to which they were entitled

  • Leeds City Council is offering debt advice and counselling for local families

  • Westminster City Council is freezing council tax to help people as they cope with higher food and fuel costs

  • East Sussex CC is providing crisis advice to small firms.

Cllr Eaton said: “At times of difficulty, it is councils that people can turn to when they need help or support.

”Local authorities are at the centre of helping people, businesses and other groups through tough economic times ahead. When things go wrong, councils step in, both to help kick-start the economy when it hits rock bottom and to provide a safety net for people in need.

“However, councils must have the tools to do the job properly. Councils are using new powers passed down from central government and making things better for local people as a result.

"This drive to localism must continue if we are to protect people from the worst effects of an economic slowdown and make rapid progress towards recovery."

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