Councils in England should be given freedoms on spending Government grants for transport and economic development because of Covid-19, the Local Government Association has said. LGA chairman James Jamieson has written to Simon Clarke, the MP for regional growth and local government, setting out the Association’s thinking.
Jamieson asks for allocations to be expedited for “all current grant schemes: Housing Infrastructure Fund, Future High Streets, Stronger Towns, Growth Funds, local transport schemes, ESIF [European Structural and Investment Funds]”.
He says the Government should enable councils to reallocate grants from one stream to another, extend deadlines on project completion timescales, and relax conditions “so that councils can get on and deliver, focusing on delivery not process (e.g. Housing Infrastructure Fund)”.
Jamieson also calls for a five-year highway maintenance funding allocation for councils.
The LGA wants the Government to change the rules on Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy so that councils “can invest upfront in schools and roads etc and claw back from associated developments”.
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