Keir Starmer – you’re no Margaret Thatcher

I would like to wish everyone across the local government sector, officers and councillors alike, a very prosperous new year. 

Just before the Christmas festivities, the Government released the provisional local government finance settlement for the 2024/25 financial year. 

Following my election as Leader of the LGA’s Conservative Group, I made it clear that I would always speak the truth to government to ensure the best possible deal could be achieved for Conservative councils and our councillors on the ground. 

Regrettably, this year, I feel that the finance settlement falls short of the level of support that the sector needs and which the LGA has lobbied for on a cross-party basis.

While I welcome the 6.5 per cent increase in funding, which will help to mitigate some of the pressures that councils are facing, the settlement fails to address the problems that all councils are facing – most obviously in relation to inflation and increases in the National Living Wage, as well as the specific challenges in areas such as adult social care, children’s services, and housing and homelessness. 

“The finance settlement falls short of the level of support that the sector needs”

I will make this point, though. Following the release of the statement, we didn’t hear any alternative proposals from the Labour Party, and I think it is important people realise that. It seems Keir Starmer is now trying to unleash his inner Margaret Thatcher to win the next General Election. But I say this, Margaret Thatcher wouldn’t borrow £28 billion and risk increasing inflation. Keir Starmer – you’re no Margaret Thatcher. 


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