Keith, Graham and Iain

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Meeting the minister

by Iain Roberts on 4 December, 2015

One of my newer responsibilities is as a member of the City Regions Board of the Local Government Association – the body that brings all local councils, across all parties, together to fight our corner and learn from each other.

On Wednesday I was down in London with colleagues from other councils to meet Greg Clark, the Minister who’s taken over from Eric Pickles heading up the Government department responsible for local government.

There were about 15 of us crammed into a small room on the seventh floor of Local Government House, Smith Square including LGA staff, councillors, the minister and his staff.

We had a good discussion (sorry, the meeting was private so I can’t go into the details at this stage). My aim – I think shared by other councillors across the parties – was to better understand what the Government is proposing for local councils and to work to get the best outcome.

I disagree with the government’s policies and with the cuts they are making to our parks, our roads, our social care and other areas of council spending. But the cuts are happening and as councillors we need to do everything we can do to get the best deal for the local people we represent and fight for.

For councils, the next milestone will be the local government settlement. That will come in the days just before Christmas and will give local councils more information about how much money we’re going to have in the year ahead and how we are allowed to spend it.

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