To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, whether his Department plans to review local authority recovery plans.
As the Government eases the social distancing guidelines, MHCLG is engaging with all local authorities in England to understand their readiness for restarting the economy, and to provide support where possible.
We have written to all local authorities to encourage them to take the lead in restarting their local areas and officials continue to engage with all local authorities to discuss their preparations for restarting their local economies, and will be holding follow-up conversations with groups of authorities to acquire intelligence, collate examples of best practice, and to provide further support.
Following successful meetings with Greater Manchester, Liverpool and the West Midlands, MHCLG Ministers are continuing with a small series of Regional Stocktakes as case studies across England which are providing insight into the challenges that apply across all local areas.
Government has now made £3.2 billion available to local authorities through an un-ringfenced grant so they can address pressures they are facing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The package recognises the additional costs and pressures on finances councils are facing as a result of the current crisis. It demonstrates the Government’s commitment to making sure councils have the resources they need to support their communities through this challenging time.
In addition, the Economic Recovery Working Group provides a forum to bring together local, regional, and national thinking on recovery, and will facilitate close coordination as the Government’s own recovery planning develops. We recognise that it is crucial to bring the expertise and geographic diversity of local government to bear on those discussions.