Local government will be facing an overall funding gap of £3.1 billion in 2019/20 so we are gobsmacked that the Government has not used the provisional local government finance settlement to provide further desperately needed resources for councils next year.
“It is councils and councillors who are getting on with the job of supporting people in very difficult circumstances”
Many councils have already been forced to take tough decisions about which services have to be scaled back or stopped altogether to plug funding gaps. We must not forget that it is people and communities who feel the impact – whether it is through seeing their local library or leisure centre close, roads deteriorate, or support for young people, families and vulnerable adults cut to the bone.
The nation continues to face huge uncertainty, as Westminster bickers over Brexit, and our Government is a paralysed shambles. It is councils and councillors who are getting on with the job of supporting people in very difficult circumstances. Investment in these local services, and councils’ prevention and early intervention work, is just one way councils can continue to make a positive difference to their residents’ lives.
It also helps reduce pressures on the rest of the public sector, save money for the public purse and contribute to the wider prosperity and wellbeing of our communities. It’s a no-brainer really – so a shame we do not do it!