EELGA's Approach to Recovery in the East
Against a global backdrop of the greatest public health crisis in a century, we as a nation, and the East of England as a region, have had to respond to a range of new challenges. These challenges have impacted our economy, fundamentally changing many of the financial conditions that we previously took for granted in shaping our future plans for the region.
The pandemic has impacted our citizens in countless ways. Affecting education, jobs, industries, and livelihoods, our health and wellbeing, our ability to access the services and support we need to go about our lives; and has touched upon everything from how we socialise or gather in public, to how we interact with our families.
Despite this, it has not all been negative. Covid-19 has, in many ways, liberated us from some of the things we have traditionally accepted, or have been too slow to transform. As a sector and a region we now have the opportunity to set a course for our “new normal”; to reshape our economy, to think again about what we mean by wellbeing, to work in new, collaborative, and more innovative ways, and embed some of the rapid transformation we have achieved for the longer term.
Our citizens will have a new perspective and different and evolving needs following this seismic shock to our way of life. This means a fundamental change in how we, and all our partners in the public and private sector, engage and support them in the next phase of our development as a society.
We are likely to have to manage the complex twin track of Covid response and Covid recovery for many months to come. This means a further period of exceptionally hard decisions about priorities and our strategies for the medium term, nationally and locally.
EELGA has worked with key strategic stakeholders across the East as well as our members to bring the whole sector together. In doing so we have begun to both discuss and to tackle these issues, through a really superb virtual collaboration programme over the summer and autumn of 2020, which will culminate in a submission to parliament at the All Party Parliamentary Group for the East of England on November 4th 2020.
As a result we have been able to capture in real time, experiences and insights and evidence from across many of the East of England’s stakeholders, to inform next steps, and take our recovery approach and regional collaboration forward.
While we recognise that our recovery from Covid-19 in the East of England is at this early stage, we have been able to shape:
- Our asks of government
- Our offer to government as a region
- What we as the local government sector can deliver and lead on for ourselves
- How we will support other strategic partners, as they in turn support our sector objectives.
Our asks of government do not shy away from the difficulties we face in terms of attracting and delivering critical infrastructure, sustaining our finances in order to keep our services open, running, and transforming, or the additional flexibilities and policy changes we aim to influence to give our sector more ability to effect lasting change at local level.
Thank you to everyone who has taken part in this process; for bringing an open mind, a willingness to collaborate and share lessons learned/what’s working, your energy and fresh, and new ideas.