Alistair Darling should bring forward more capital spending in next week’s Budget and focus it on the sort of small-scale projects that councils can start immediately in order to create jobs, the Local Government Association said yesterday.

In a pre-Budget statement it called for £100m to give town centres experiencing shop closures a 'facelift', restoring local buildings and monuments and improving safety. That would create or safeguard 60,000 jobs, the association said.

A further extension of home insulation schemes could create 4,000 jobs and save householders money while money brought forward for road improvements and repair would create jobs and support local businesses.

Financial Times