Simon Edwards

  • Staff shocks

    02 February 2024

    A new report from the County Councils' Network and PwC lays out some solutions to a complex sector recruitment problem that’s worsening by the year, says Simon Edwards.


  • A new Government provides the opportunity for long-term reform

    15 January 2024

    The SEN system and the broken children’s social care residential market are the main drivers of cost for councils, and CCN will be proactively setting out its own case for reform of both as we gear up for a new Government, says Simon Edwards.


  • Resources are needed to keep councils away from the precipice

    27 September 2023

    It is becoming more clear a further injection of resources will be needed to stop more councils going over the edge – even those that are well managed, says Simon Edwards.


  • Children's inspection policy change must be adequately funded

    24 July 2023

    A new report setting out the potential consequences of inspection of semi-independent living accommodation for 16-17 year olds finds the costs of the new regime could be nine times higher by 2027, says Simon Edwards.


  • The General Election looms larger by the day

    10 May 2023

    Simon Edwards says the CCN 'will be doing all we can to ensure counties and their communities are at the heart of the current Government agenda, and at the centre of party manifestos in the countdown to national polling day.'


  • Support county highways to boost productivity

    14 March 2023

    If we are to create a more equal and prosperous country then the chancellor could do a lot worse than provide funding to local authorities to help wipe out their inflationary pressures in vital county highways projects, says Simon Edwards.


  • Tackling the long-term pandemic of economic inactivity

    08 February 2023

    There is a dearth of people to fill job vacancies, says Simon Edwards. 'While national policy will have a significant role, it is clear solutions need to be bespoke and local too.'


  • We must begin to shift the Integrated Care Systems' culture sooner rather than later

    21 November 2022

    Analysis from CCN and IMPOWER has found that many council leaders feel there is too much focus from ICSs on immediate health service pressures. Simon Edwards says that arguably this is down to the low number of councillors on boards.


  • Social care charging reforms are drastically underfunded

    01 November 2022

    The Government is expected to delay the introduction of social care charging reforms but Simon Edwards says the even more important issue is the period after their implementation.


  • Counties have shown themselves able to step up and deliver

    27 September 2022

    The new Government inherits an unenviable in-tray. In navigating and ultimately solving these problems, England's county authorities will be vital, says Simon Edwards.


  • Waiting for council issues to get an airing

    03 August 2022

    Local government has hardly featured in the initial debates of the Conservative leadership contest but that could be set to change given its importance to levelling up and reform of adult social care, says Simon Edwards.


  • We now have a clear evidence base for change to children's social care

    06 June 2022

    The Independent Review of Children's Social Care heeds the County Councils Network's calls for a much greater focus on prevention, keeping families together, and a move away from reliance on costly residential care, says Simon Edwards.


  • It is imperative to get the SEND reforms right

    12 April 2022

    Proposals to address the future demand pressures in education, health and care plans through a set of national standards are welcome, but can the Green Paper adequately address the substantial deficits of many CCN members, asks Simon Edwards.


  • Rewriting the devolution rulebook

    15 February 2022

    After being left on the sidelines for years, county councils are now firmly at the heart of the Government’s levelling up ambitions, writes Simon Edwards.


  • Local government must be at the heart of proposals for levelling up

    09 November 2021

    The CCN, along with the Local Government Association and others, worked tirelessly to make the case for more funding, 'and this positive result from the Spending Review was testament to the effectiveness of our advocacy', says Simon Edwards.


  • Local leadership needs a vote of confidence from the Treasury

    05 October 2021

    In the run up to the Spending Review, the County Councils' Network will be continuing to highlight 'how imperative well-resourced councils are to the levelling up agenda', says Simon Edwards.


  • The levelling up White Paper must have proposals to match counties' ambitions

    16 June 2021

    CCN’s member councils are putting in train ambitious place-based economic recovery plans, 'but they remain stunted by a lack of devolved powers available to metro mayors as well as significantly less funding', says Simon Edwards.


  • Seize the reins

    30 March 2021

    The County Councils Network's new business plan for recovery and renewal puts forward evidence-based practical proposals to influence the Government's key agendas across six clear priorities, says Simon Edwards.


  • Counties will continue to deliver

    07 December 2020

    Director of the County Councils Network Simon Edwards says the next few months will be 'no easier for our communities, but local government has already proven the importance of locally led, rather than centrally imposed, solutions'.


  • Give councils the powers and funds to transform their societies

    04 June 2020

    As counties begin to move out of the most stringent lockdown measures, CCN member councils will be starting to set out bold visions for their areas, says Simon Edwards.