LGA elects new chair

Following councillor Shaun Davies being elected as the new MP for Telford in last week’s General Election, he has stood down as Local Government Association’s (LGA) chair.

Councillor Louise Gittins has been elected by the LGA Labour Group as Davies replacement with immediate effect.

Gittins has served as leader of Cheshire West and Chester council since 2019, having previously served as deputy leader from 2015. She was first elected as a councillor in 2011 and has been the chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People policy board since 2022.

‘Period of huge change’

Gittins said: “I am excited and honoured to be taking up this important cross-party role on behalf of councils of all types and political colours across the country.

“We are entering a period of huge change but also opportunity and my immediate priority is working with the new government on a fundamental reset of the relationship between central and local government, one of trust and mutual respect.

“As we have set out in our Local Government White Paper, it is councils which hold the local levers to the national challenges facing the new government, whether it is building more affordable homes, reducing homelessness, improving care for adults and children or boosting inclusive growth.

“Councils are under pressure like never before, facing a funding gap of more than £6 billion over the next two years. It is important we find a sustainable and long-term financial solution, alongside the right powers and levers, so we can deliver on the priorities of the new government.

“We are delighted that many new MPs come from the local government family and have had first-hand experience of these acute pressures as councillors, which should mean that securing the future of our local services will be a top priority.”

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