Communities should be empowered to have maximum control over their local services.
Liberal Democrats are the only party with a vision for the future: Labour’s instinct is towards centralisation and taking power from communities; the Conservatives’ cuts to local government budgets have led to a huge reduction in services.
We will drive a devolution revolution to give power to people and communities and help fund the services that people need. We will:
- Decentralise decision-making from Whitehall and Westminster, by inviting local areas to take control of the services that matter to them most.
- Give democratic local government enhanced powers to call on new income sources appropriate to their area to support local services and investment.
- Give people more power, with customers holding companies delivering services to account for their failures, and with communities able to take charge of aspects of their own local development – through, for example, establishing local banks and community energy cooperatives.
- Devolve further revenue-raising powers away from Westminster, to regions from Cornwall to North East England. We will legislate to empower groups of authorities to come together to establish devolved governance and ensure that any powers devolved are matched by the funding to deliver on the needs of local people.
- Devolve more decision-making power over key levers of economic development including transport, energy, housing and skills.
Liberal Democrat candidate Alex Ehmann comments: "Local government has seen their central government funding slashed year-on-year. Council tax increases are capped, so filling the shortfall has meant cutting services. This cannot continue.
"Under a Liberal Democrat government, Local councils will have the freedom to explore new income sources in a bespoke way, rather than a 'one size fits all' approach from Whitehall."