The future shape of local government

So far, 2020 has been a year of unprecedented challenge and change. We have met it with courage and resilience, across communities, councils, and all public services.

Effective partnership working between authorities, the NHS and all our partners partners has been the cornerstone of our success.

We have worked together this year on a level which has never been seen before. It has been a fantastic effort and I’m very proud of the response we have all made to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now all authorities in Essex have the opportunity to build on that partnership working, as we re-consider the structure of local government in Essex, so that it is fit for purpose for the post-Covid world.

Following a speech last week by Simon Clarke MP, Minister for Local Government, on the future shape of local government, Essex County Council is open to exploring the opportunities which reforms could offer.

We are keen to engage with all our partners across local government, with residents across all our communities and with wider stakeholders on the potential options which could be explored here in Essex, including those which may devolve powers from central government to local level.

We have no view yet of how that conversation might take place or indeed what a new structure for local government in the county might look like – until we know more about the process, we simply support the principle of working with partners on this agenda.

Even better services, from an even more effective and efficient council, is the prize.