Cllr James Jamieson, chairman of the Local Government Association (LGA), described the measures announced in the prime minister’s speech at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester as “good news for local communities and businesses seeking to improve their prospects”.
“It recognises that democratically elected local councils have a key role to play in delivering better transport links, digital connectivity, housing and all the important infrastructure like parks and libraries that create strong communities and economies,” he added.
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Johnson had earlier stated: “We will start by ensuring there is investment from central government — by bringing forward plans on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund — and we have growth deals as well for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
“And we’re now going to have a £3.6bn towns fund supporting an initial 100 towns.
“So that they will get the improved transport and improved broadband connectivity that they need.”
Commenting on these plans, James said: “The prime minister has rightly acknowledged the need to bring decision making closer to local people.
“It is vital that communities in all parts of the country have access to the benefits of devolution.
“When councils have the freedoms and funding to make local decisions, there is clear and significant evidence that outcomes improve, and the country gets better value for money.”