A Labour government would provide an extra £8bn for social care services in the next parliament, devolve to areas without a requirement to adopt an elected mayor, and “suspend” the right-to-buy.
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Draft copies of the party’s manifesto for the general election were widely leaked today. LGC has picked out the key pledges for local government:
The draft manifesto contains a 20 point plan for securing workers’ rights, which includes:
- Scrapping the public sector pay cap of 1% a year
- Raising the minimum wage to the living wage which is expected to be at least £10 per hour by 2020
- Rolling out maximum pay ratios of 20:1 across the public sector and companies bidding for public sector contracts
- Banning zero hours contracts
Consideration will also be given to provide members of the Local Government Pension Scheme with full trustee status to help control investments and reduce fees and charges.
Any shortfall in European structural funding resulting from Brexit will be covered “throughout the course of the next parliament”.
In a bid to reflect the fact “rural councils deliver public services differently” funding allocations will reflect that while it will also be considered in a “re-evaluation of the business rate schemes”.
New “plant and machinery” businesses will be removed from business rate calculations.
A constitutional convention looking at “extending democracy locally, regionally and nationally” will be established.
A “presumption of devolution” will be established where powers transferred from the European Union “will go straight to the relevant region or nation”.
Pledge to “devolve powers over economic development, complete with the necessary funding”.
Responsibility for skills will be devolved “wherever there is an appetite”.
Requirement for directly elected mayors in combined authorities will be removed, although kept “as an option”.
Housing and planning
Labour will “remove government restrictions that stop councils building homes and begin the biggest council building programme for at least 30 years”.
At least 100,000 council and housing association homes for “genuinely affordable rent or sale” will be built a year by the end of the next parliament.
The party will “suspend the right-to-buy…with councils only able to resume sales if they can prove they have a plan to replace homes sold like-for-like”.
A “new generation of new towns” will be created.
Pledge to “properly resource and bolster planning authorities with fuller powers” while compulsory purchase powers would be updated.
Councils’ local plans will be required to address the need for older people’s housing.
Industrial strategy, infrastructure, and transport
Establish a national investment bank which would give £250bn of lending power to help deliver the industrial strategy over the next decade
National Infrastructure Commission will be retained.
Creation of municipal bus companies will be enabled.
Pledge to deliver universal superfast broadband to all households by 2022.
Free public wi-fi in city centres and on public transport would be expanded.
Social care, health, and STPs
The Health & Social Care Act would be repealed.
An additional £8bn for social care services over the course of the next parliament, including £1bn in the first year.
Labour will explore options to create a National Care Service which will be “rooted in the traditions” of the National Health Service. The review will also consult on options for “sustainable funding” for social care services.
15-minute social care visits to be ended.
More than £6bn extra in annual funding for the NHS to be funded through increased income tax on the highest 5% of earners, increasing tax on private medical insurance, and halving management consultant fees.
Sustainability and transformation plans are to be halted with local health groups asked to redraw them.
The rights of EU staff working in health and care services will be guaranteed.
Children’s services and schools
Pledge to “prevent the private sector running child protection services”.
Local authorities will be allowed to open schools and “require joined up admissions policies across schools”.
Cuts to schools made by the Conservatives would be ”reversed”, while “transitional relief” would be provided to any school set to lose out under the new funding formula.