EELGA Recovery Report
At the time of writing this report, we have been experiencing a second and very severe wave of Covid-19 infections during the winter of 2020/21, coupled with a third national lockdown, all of which has presented an unrelenting challenge to the whole public sector. We have all seen the published figures on the news, growing on a daily basis, it has been such an incalculable year of loss for front line workers, families, communities, businesses and society as a whole.
The pressure on the NHS has been sustained at levels that we simply have not seen before. Local government continues to rise to the challenge of supporting our people, businesses and communities as we work through the ongoing national response to the pandemic, including latterly the roll out the vaccine. We are making good initial progress.
During 2020/21 the East of England LGA has balanced coordinating the local government’s regional response to the pandemic with looking ahead to the recovery period and what this will mean for the priorities of councils and their partners in the medium term.
In the summer and autumn of 2020, EELGA led a wide-ranging inquiry into the impact of the pandemic, identifying the key issues and designing a collaborative action plan for the road to recovery for the East of England. This work explored the challenges we have faced, and overcome, what we need as a sector from each other, our partners and central government, and examined where new and innovative ways of working could be shared and accelerated.
We focused on three key themes and lines of enquiry:
- The impact of Covid-19 on outcomes for our citizens and our communities
- The impact of Covid-19 on our economy and infrastructure
- The impact of Covid-19 on the local government workforce, and how we work together
The report summarises the work that we undertook across those areas, in over 25 workshops, with representatives from over 50 stakeholders and partners, generating some 118 actions and activities, and a broad range of asks of government.
The report is interactive, with links to detailed views of our agreed activities, and a programme plan is now underway, to deliver on the things that we said that we would do, including those priorities which form the core of our lobbying with the government.
We have already seen some progress, due to a combination lobbying efforts during the autumn and winter of 2021/21, which demonstrate the evident strength of our strategic partnerships in improving outcomes across the East of England.
Highlights so far include:
- The establishment of a National Infrastructure Bank and £4bn ‘Levelling Up Fund’ linked to our ask for sustained infrastructure investment in the region;
- The provision of funding and support totalling £1.5bn across the UK for standardised national electric vehicle infrastructure, paving the way for a greener future for transport across the country;
- An increase in the ability of local authorities to decide opening times of retail premises in town centres.
EELGA’s three political panels (Infrastructure and Growth, Improving Outcomes for People and Communities and Local Government Employers) now have workplans in place to oversee the delivery of the actions from the recovery report. Progress reports will be given routinely via the panels and EELGA’s monthly ebulletin.
We will also be providing a comprehensive update via EELGA’s Annual Report, which will be published at our AGM on 9th July.
If you have any questions please contact Roy.Elmer@eelga.gov.uk