Flooding, finances and food waste

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind for local government, not least because of the announcement of the provisional finance settlement, but also because of the outstanding work that our colleagues across the sector have done in response to the flooding and damage caused by recent storms (including Henk, Isha and Jocelyn, as the February edition of first was going to press).

From my end, I wanted to update you on the lobbying work that I and the LGA Conservative Group executive have been doing on your behalf in recent months. 

First, we all know about the situation we face with financing adult social care and children’s services. I remain concerned that far too much of the precept we receive from our residents is becoming increasingly centralised into areas such as adult social care and children’s services, when our councillors on the ground want to be sorting out the real day-to-day issues, such as the state of our roads.

Following the announcement of the consultation on the settlement, Cllr Tim Oliver, Chairman of the County Councils Network, and I visited the Treasury to lobby the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and we made it clear to him that the settlement failed to address several areas. 

Far too much of the precept is becoming centralised into areas such as adult social care and children’s services”

We’re therefore pleased that government has listened and an additional £500 million has been released for local authorities with responsibility for social care and children’s services.

On a different subject, several weeks ago, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced its capital transitional costs funding to councils as they become responsible for weekly food waste collections. 

Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, Chairman of the District Councils’ Network, and I have written to the Secretary of State questioning the formula that has been used to allocate this funding. 

Particularly, we have asked for greater clarity on whether the formula considers the most recent inflationary and supply chain issues, which will undoubtedly create issues in purchasing the new caddies and vehicles needed to carry out weekly food waste collections. 


TV dramas highlight government scandals

An admission of total failure