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NLGNNew Local Government Network
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Tom Symons, senior researcher at NLGN, said: "There is a real risk that future economic growth will be undermined by infrastructure that is unable to meet the demands of a modern, globalised economy.
The NLGN also wants to see brownfield sites converted to allotments.
This report from NLGN has done a good service in raising this issue.
New Local Government Network (2009) Investing Together: The Case for a Local Authority Mutual Fund, London, NLGN.
Hear, hear, say I, and the NLGN report goes on to outline some interesting ideas such as a new lending approach which treats Private Finance Initiatives on a level playing field with other capital finance models and use of council reserves to finance regeneration.
The NLGN is run by Chris Leslie, a former Labour MP who co-ordinated Gordon Brown's unopposed campaign for the Labour leadership last year.
The NLGN says there should be tougher action on the 600,000 empty homes in England and Wales.
In its new report, entitled Capital Contingencies, NLGN warns that deep cuts risk creating a "tsunami of a public sector recession" and calls on future governments to protect spending on infrastructure projects like new roads and public buildings.
It's a costly business, too: the next Census, in 2011, is expected to cost about pounds 500m, and the NLGN suggests this could be cut in half by scrapping the traditional system and using different, rolling data collection instead.
The NLGN also said the Government should introduce a new generation of incineration plants to generate electricity from rubbish.
The NLGN claim space will run out in nine years - four in and around London.
The NLGN report was written by its deputy director Anna Turley, a former special adviser to David Blunkett, who said the Prevent scheme had enjoyed some notable success in its work with mosques.