Locality’s response to Spring Statement

Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive of Locality, said:

“The Chancellor rightly points out that what people want in these testing times is to feel secure, but the question is what will really offer that security. The measures announced today fall well short of what’s needed.

To really feel secure, people want to know that there are others around them who have their back. Community organisations play exactly this role. These local groups and businesses have spent the last two years on the front line of the response to Covid and are now facing new and frankly terrifying demands from all sides, as the people who rely on them see their food, energy and other bills skyrocket.

Community organisations are concentrated in the places most in need of ‘levelling up’, and our recent research showed their extraordinary resilience during the pandemic. They are our country’s vital first responders, but they could do so much more if the government just trusted them to act.

That means making the money the government is spending on its levelling up agenda more accessible to community organisations. Recent funding streams have been too centralised and bureaucratic. By making future funds more flexible and decentralised, the government can truly put communities in charge. “