13th December 2019
New government lacks coherent long-term local government vision
by Adam Lent, Local Government Chronical
2019 Creative Commons Licence CC-BY-SA 3.0 til_yolo.mtfbwy
The Conservative manifesto commits to making the UK net zero by 2050. That will prove hard for a party generally allergic to regulation and state intervention. But a combination of increasing extreme weather events in the UK over the next five years and growing agitation for faster action could leave issues like devolution and social care struggling for attention.
However, the biggest gap in the new government’s agenda is the lack of any coherent long-term vision for local government or public services as a whole.
Like every other Westminster party, the Conservatives have run out of serious ideas for how rising demand can be tackled or how appalling health and other inequalities could be addressed. Nothing senior Conservative figures say suggest they have the faintest clue about the radical shift to community-led services reshaping the most innovative parts of the public sector. Nothing in the manifesto indicates that their commitment to prevention goes beyond shallow and limited initiatives.