Our #CouncilsCan campaign aims to influence the review and highlight the growing risk to vital local services if the Government does not take action to secure the financial sustainability of councils.
“With sustainable funding and powers, councils can continue to lead their areas, improve lives, reduce demand for public services, and save taxpayers’ money
We kicked off our campaign by highlighting the threat to popular – but non-statutory – services if the £8 billion funding black hole we face by 2025 is not tackled. We warned that our communities may lose leisure and cultural facilities and subsidised bus services, and see fly-tippers go unpunished, unless government invests in local services.
We have highlighted how successful the transfer of public health to councils has been, with most outcomes as good as, or better than, when the NHS ran everything – despite cuts to local government public health grants.
We’ve also flagged up how billions of pounds of housing benefit could have been saved if successive governments had helped us build more social housing over the last 10 years. The construction work would have helped generate economic growth, and tenants would have had more cash in their pockets.
But our campaign isn’t just about asking for more money – it’s more positive than that. We know that with sustainable funding and powers, councils can continue to lead their local areas, improve residents’ lives, reduce demand for public services, and save money for the taxpayer.
We are a good investment. We have continued to deliver vital, quality local services – despite losing almost 60p out of every £1 of government funding over the last 10 years – because we have been efficient and innovative.
However, the tipping point has been reached. Even if we scale back all our discretionary services, we will not be able to fill the funding gap facing children’s services, adult social care and homelessness, nor meet rising demand for these statutory services.
It’s now time to invest in our people and our places.