As a local councillor eagerly anticipating the upcoming General Election, I was curious to learn about each party's plans for local government. 

It's essential for all of us to know what the parties have outlined in their manifestos for local government, as thriving communities cannot exist without adequate powers and resources.

Hampshire County Council, along with over half of all local authorities, is facing a severe financial crisis under the current Conservative administration. The new government will face significant challenges after the last 14 years of forcing councils to do more with fewer resources. It is a fact that taxes under the Conservatives are now at a 70-year high and UK public debt has risen to the highest since 1961. It's intriguing (but concerning) to contemplate the whereabouts of our money. 

From schools and education to social care, housing, council tax, planning, waste management, highways, transport, footpaths and yes, those pesky potholes (!), local government plays a crucial role in our communities. It must have the necessary powers, funds and resources to enable community growth and prosperity.

For the next government to successfully implement its national agenda, it requires a well-functioning local government. I sincerely hope that voters will recognise the importance and value of local government when casting their ballots.

Cllr Sally Yalden, 
Borough Councillor for Ampfield and Braishfield, 
Fern Hill, 

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