Local Government Funding — [Mrs Anne Main in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 27th March 2019.

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Photo of Thelma Walker Thelma Walker Labour, Colne Valley 2:30 pm, 27th March 2019

It is a pity that do not have better representation on the Conservative Benches.

I was talking about Labour’s vision for how things can be. We will properly fund public health services, establish a new national target to narrow health inequalities, and prioritise the health and wellbeing of every child, which is very dear to my heart. We will give councils £1.5 billion extra for general council services, too. Although that additional funding is important, we have made a commitment to place local government at the heart of our work, giving local councillors a direct voice in central decision making through our local government commission.

To fix our broken political system, where people are left feeling disconnected and disillusioned by politics, we need to put local people and communities at the heart of decision making. Showing local people that Whitehall works for them is the first step in addressing this problem. I want this to be what local government does and is seen to be doing by the public: building inclusive and cohesive communities, providing accessible care for all who need it, and supporting vulnerable people to promote their life chances.

I applied for the debate to request that the Government rethink the approach to local government funding and make urgent changes to address the crisis facing our councils.