The communities secretary has pledged to reduce the number of funds that councils have to compete for as part of plans to consolidate the sector's funding.
Speaking at the Local Government Association’s virtual conference on Tuesday (6 July), Robert Jenrick said there would be fewer competitions in the future, giving councils ‘more consolidated opportunities to access government funding’.
He said: ‘One of my roles in the run-up to the Spending Review will be to encourage other departments to remove some of those ring-fenced, consolidated funds and simplify funding streams.’
Mr Jenrick (pictured) used his speech to unveil plans for government departments to take a more place-based approach to working with councils, arguing this was the most effective way for councils to deliver.
He said: ‘The one principle I will stick to is that central government should be working directly with councils and we should avoid filters wherever possible including local enterprise partnerships, which I want to reform over the course of this year.’
Mr Jenrick also said councils will be expected to produce 10-20 year plans for their local area, promising to give them more powers and freedoms if they can prove they have a ‘credible’ plan in place.
He continued: ‘I do think the role of the planning inspector could be considered, and its role in handling the plan-making process could be reconsidered for those councils that have a record of building homes and managing development responsibly in their local area.
‘I do think there may be an opportunity to look at the viable land supply and bring an end to speculative development, again where a council has a plan and is genuinely approaching development in a responsible way.’