12th January 2018 - Blog by Helen McGrath, LLG's Policy & Communications ManagerPublish date: 12/01/2018
A very Happy New year to you all and a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda to our welsh colleagues.
It seems the break has already become a distant memory with many of you completing a second week back and looking forward to the months ahead. So, what has 2018 got in store for us all? Well, Brexit of course remains a staple topic but until we know the proposals there isn't much to be done to prepare and in any event, there are much more pressing concerns on the horizon (did I just say that?!). Business Rates Retention will require a change of finance regime from the outgoing grant and could cause problems for those local authorities who are unlikely to garner much income. GDPR is likely to focus much attention between now and the 25th May 2018 when it comes into effect with far stricter controls then previously seen. Social Care and Health will rightly remain at the top of the list with an ever rapidly increasing population age resulting in higher demands year on year. That, together with a joined-up digitalisation programme under the 'Five Year Forward View' and underpinned by an 86 million grant commitment from government to produce a joined-up care service and one must hope their historic record of accomplishment in technological projects doesn't repeat itself.
Housing and delivery will also retain a significant focus with further movement following the White Paper requiring close attention. Unlike England however, Wales have seen the Right to Buy as diminishing housing supply (as opposed to underpinning affordable ownership) and will move to abolish it. They can also expect to see a Bill on reforming local government in Wales from the Welsh Assembly. 2018 will also see council elections and some mayoral elections too. Can we also completely rule out a general election? I wouldn't want to bet on it.
This is just a snap shot of the myriad of developments 2018 has in store for us. It will be a demanding and challenging year for us all!
Policy & Communications Manager