Keir Starmer pledges council support during visit to Harlow

A new Labour government will offer long-term term settlements of up to three years to councils, Keir Starmer has said on a visit to Harlow this week. The Labour leader and the deputy leader, Angela Rayner visited Harlow Town Football Club on the eve of the local elections.

The labour leader addressed concerns around council funding - including that councils needed longer settlements to be able to plan with more certainty. Messages include those from the Tory-led Essex County Council which has been asking for longer-term stability in how councils are financed by central Government.

Sir Keir said: "Across the country councils of different political stripes are going bust under this government and that is an indictment of 14 years of failure and that is because so much money has been taken out of our councils I can't stand here and simply turn on the taps but what I can do when it comes to longer-term settlement, we can change that and we will change that.

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"Many councils say to me that if they had a three-year settlement rather than a shorter settlement they would be able to use the money effectively and efficiently. We will do that straight away."

He also attacked the Government's decision to delay the ending of Section 21s - the legal mechanism allowing landlords to evict tenants without providing a reason. He added: "There are other things we can do as well because if we can stabilise the economy inflation will reduce the pressure on councils."

"And the Government has failed on no-fault evictions it has promised them and hasn't done them. The net result is that many people who lose their homes or the roof over their heads through no fault of their own end up having to be supported by councils."

Harlow is being targeted last held by a Labo9ut MP in 2010 - the current Tory MP Robert Halfon has announced he will not be standing for re-election. The Labour leader said: "I am very happy coming to Harlow.

"What I see every time I do is there is an ambition people have for their place and their communities. What I want is a Government that matches that ambition. I have been many times now and I'll happily come many more times."