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Councils can win the case for more powers under the new Labour government if they continue to demonstrate 'ingenuit...
Councils can win the case for more powers under the new Labour government if they continue to demonstrate 'ingenuity and innovation' despite tight budgets, Local Government Association chief executive Brian Briscoe said this week.

Promising less talk and more action on developing strong central/local relations, Mr Briscoe said: 'The task is about more than conversation in Westminster and Whitehall. Local government has to be able to help deliver the national and local priorities of safer communities and less crime, more jobs and less poverty, protection and creation of a decent environment, good housing and education, and proper care for the vulnerable.'

Mr Briscoe also claimed that it was clear that local communities 'expect their local and central governments to work together to solve the problems faced by towns and cities and rural areas'.

He said: 'None of this will be easy with restricted resources and limited powers, but if we can demonstrate more of the ingenuity and innovation which enabled improvements in service quality despite the financial difficulties of recent years, we can begin to win the case for more freedom to serve local communities according to their needs.'

LGA government relations and parliamentary officer Will Hamill said: 'The LGA is aiming to forge a stronger relationship with the new government. The precise course that we will follow will become clearer once the impact of the new government is known . . . Now that elections are over, the LGA is ready to press local government's case as a real partner in government.

'Our lobbying of the government will only be truly effective when we manage to project local government's agenda in a way that reflects what the government itself seeks to achieve.'

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