Locality’s response to the Spending Review: “We will be monitoring the great government sell-off of public assets closely.”
“Government must do more to support communities to take on the management of local assets and services”
In response to today’s Spending Review, Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive of Locality, the national network of ambitious and enterprising community-led organisations, said:
“Over the coming days the implications of today’s spending review will become clear.
“What was certainly missing from the Chancellor’s announcement was a clear commitment to supporting communities to take on management and ownership of assets such as buildings and land owned by local and central government.
“We will be monitoring the great government sell-off of public assets closely. The eyes of authorities taking a narrow approach to assets disposal must be opened to the social value and additional savings they can realise from transferring assets to community ownership.
“There was also a worrying lack of focus in the Chancellor’s announcement on prevention and early intervention. Cuts in areas such as the local government revenue grant and public health mean that we are storing up problems in the future by not preventing or intervening at an early stage.
“Although it is encouraging to hear the chancellor talk about handing back power to communities, we’re still waiting for what that will look like in real terms. He needs to make sure that devolution does not mean centralising powers at city or county level, but handing power onwards to communities and neighbourhoods.
“This is particularly vital in supporting locally designed and delivered services which are shown to be good value for money, improve the services individuals receive and are more able to focus on prevention and early intervention.”