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25th June 2020

Solace Survey: Long-term recovery from Covid will be ‘seriously hampered’ without a reset of central-local relations

Solace conducted a survey of 112 serving council chief executives and senior directors/managers between 3 June and 19 June 2020, to gain a clearer understanding of our members’ views on tackling Covid-19 and the recovery ahead.

Read the full report from the survey here.

Key points include:

  • A call for Central Government to involve councils more in the co-design and co-production of coronavirus recovery plans
  • Nearly half (46%) of council chief executives and senior managers said they were doubtful over their ability to recover their local economies
  • Three-fifths (59%) of senior professionals expressed major doubts about their ability to implement local lockdowns in their areas, while more than a third (37%) had doubts about successfully delivering the Test and Trace programme in their areas
  • More than three quarters (77%) said they were ‘unsatisfied’ about the level of funding being made available to councils to deliver/enforce local lockdowns, with the same number saying they were ‘unsatisfied’ with the information and guidance coming out of central Government

Joanne Roney, Solace spokesperson for Leadership & Learning and Chief Executive of Manchester City Council, said of the findings:

“Rather than bringing in expertise from local government partway through a process, such as the case with Test & Trace, central Government should call on the vast array of local expertise from the beginning. If the next stage of the response to the coronavirus crisis is to be a national success then we cannot repeat the mistakes of the past – local government must be at the heart of it.