Strong local democracy

A refocus on local democratic leadership and a shift in power to local communities post Brexit leads to greater diversity of elected representatives, high standards of conduct and strong, flexible local governance.

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SDG 16 - Peace, justice and strong institutions
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions

Councils as leaders of good conduct in public and political discourse and debate – we will:

  • clearly articulate the standards expected for anyone engaging in public and political discourse and debate and what is needed to achieve those standards, underlining that intimidation and abuse of those in public office is unacceptable
  • review the member model code of conduct and support our member councils in addressing intimidation and abuse of those in public office
  • support to councils to explore ways of engaging with their local community and voluntary sector in local service delivery, enhancing places and local decision making.

Elected members and officers are empowered to tackle incidents of public intimidation – we will:

  • explore the practicalities and support the adoption of an informal ‘duty of care’ for councillors
  • seek to better understand the scale and impact of the intimidation and abuse our membership is experiencing and promote a new offence for intimidation against a person in public office
  • engage with police forces and associated agencies to ensure the impact and seriousness of the public intimidation of local councillors and employees is understood and acted upon.

EU exit and constitutional reform – we will:

  • interact with Whitehall on all EU Exit negotiations, articulating councils’ needs and concerns and taking advantage of the opportunity to entrench local government within our new constitutional settlement
  • continue to support councils to prepare and deliver a successful transition for EU Exit, with a robust evidence base setting out the risks and opportunities across the country
  • press for quick and decisive responses and for all Government communications to councils to be focused, clear, and direct
  • ensure that repatriated laws and regulations are not centralised in Whitehall, working on a revised legal framework for those services currently based on EU laws such as air pollution, energy, waste and procurement and redefining regional aid and state-aid rules.

Continued devolution of powers and funding to local areas drive strong and responsive local democracy and greater engagement with communities – we will:

  • refresh the case to demonstrate to government how devolution leads to more inclusive and sustainable growth, better public services and improved outcomes for residents  
  • work with government, business and others to give communities in England and Wales greater responsibility to make decisions on the issues of importance to them.