There are so many issues and challenges facing local government at present, whether it is managing funding, adapting to changing policy or making sure communities and residents are being heard. This is why we as a nation need a General Election.

Whether it is in the media, or in Parliament, the only topic of conversation is Brexit, and the conversation is getting louder and louder as pressure mounts on our Government who are trying as hard as they can deliver the result of the referendum without a majority. As a result, local issues are continually being pushed into the long grass.

As the leader of a local authority, the demand for our services is constant and ever increasing, so for the national dialogue to be focused solely on one topic is truly frustrating as it is only resulting in stagnation for issues important to local residents.

Without a General Election and clarity moving forward, there will be no progress on policy for the likes of social care for adults and children. There will be nothing to overcome the financial challenges of incentivising better local development so how do we build more homes with infrastructure to make our communities more sustainable?

There will many cynics out there who will push back that the call from the government for an election is part of a wider game, but these are the same opposition who are demanding an election up until the point one is offered, or actively blocking progress on Brexit itself, thereby forcing the country into languishing when we needn’t be.

So, on behalf of local authorities across the country, I would urge Westminster to do the right thing for the nation, stop kicking the political can down the road and let residents go to the polls so that our country can move forward with addressing our biggest challenges.