Local areas must take the lead in economic response and recovery, says ADEPT and EY report

Local authorities are in the best position to scope and priritise interventions that sustain or enhance economic supply as well as form and leverage alliances, partnerships and working groups that can rapidly broker local intelligence on business, employment and skills, and consequently expedite support and ensure synergy with other plans.

This will only happen if local authorities aere empowered to make local decisions according to a new report by the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT), with support from EY, has published a report examining the economic impact of local lockdowns.

The report, Resolute and Resilient – Safeguarding the economy during local lockdowns sets out five ‘grand challenges’ posed by local lockdowns, and how local authorities are well positioned to respond.

The report demonstrates how the impact of a lockdown on a local area is inextricably linked to its economic structure, and how much it exacerbates and reinforces the economic challenges already present. It goes on to recommend that local leaders must be empowered to make decisions on targeting and focused local economic support in their areas.

Taking the analysis one step further, the report goes onto make recommendations and provide examples of the type of actions taken by both national and international local government.

Immediate Past President and Chair of the ADEPT Economic Recovery & Renewal Taskforce, Darryl Eyers said: “There is no question that local leadership supported with the right resources is essential to the national economic recovery. The economic impacts of Covid-19 are significant and with so many of our regions having entered Tier 3, and now the reintroduction of a national lockdown, could continue to be so for some time to come.

“This report is an essential resource for local leaders battling to support their economies, businesses and communities. As well as an analysis of the five ‘grand challenges’, it provides examples of actions that authorities across the UK, Europe and the US have implemented as a practical response to the crisis.”

Marcus Richards, Director in EY’s Strategy and Transactions Practice, said: “The local economic, financial and community impact of Covid-19 is significant and unprecedented. Ensuring that there is a forum where innovation, insight and lessons learnt can be shared is going to be key to empowering local leaders in supporting the resilience and recovery of local economies.”

ADEPT began working with EY on how to support local authorities’ work on economic recovery and renewal during the early months of the pandemic. Our research has included interviews with local authorities and local enterprise partnerships across the country.

Resolute and Resilient – Safeguarding the economy during local lockdowns is availablek here.

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