A budget for local government

The LGA’s submission to this year’s Autumn Budget sets out how investment in local services, and in prevention and early intervention work, can ensure councils continue to make a positive difference to their residents’ lives.

It will also help to reduce pressures on the rest of the public sector, save money for the public purse, and contribute to the wider prosperity and wellbeing of the nation.

The Autumn Budget, on 29 October, offers a crucial opportunity for the Government to take urgent action to
tackle the immediate funding crisis facing our local services, as well as setting the scene for the 2019 Spending Review to deliver a sustainable funding settlement for local government.

“Local government has sustained disproportionately large reductions in central government funding over this decade, in comparison with the rest of the public sector

Unprecedented funding pressures and demand for key services are pushing councils to the limit. They have strained every sinew to play a vital role in supporting local economies and communities through a difficult few years.

Local government has sustained disproportionately large reductions in central government funding over this decade, in comparison with the rest of the public sector. Between 2010 and 2020, councils will have lost 60p out of every £1 the Government had provided for services.

In 2019/20, councils’ revenue support grant is due to be cut by a further £1.3 billion and councils face a £3.9 billion funding gap. The LGA’s submission to the Chancellor’s 2018 Autumn Budget is calling on the Government to close this gap in 2019/20, and commit to funding local government fully after a complete assessment of the overall needs of the sector in the 2019 Spending Review.

Our submission also calls on the Government to: accelerate work on further business rates retention and the fair funding review; allow councils to keep 100 per cent of Right to Buy receipts from council house sales; and provide clarity over its plans for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which is to replace EU regeneration funding after Brexit.

As part of its submission, the LGA has mapped the likely impact of a further year of central government funding cuts and growing demand on the local services provided by an average upper-tier council.

The ‘AnyCouncil’ modelling shows that residents living in a council area that sits in the mid-range in relation to current funding, levels of deprivation and outlook for economic growth should expect to see key local services further dramatically reduced in 2019/20. Millions of residents are living in areas where their council will have to consider similar measures.

Based on cash and inflation figures alone, AnyCouncil will have had to deal with funding cuts and inflationary pressures totalling more than £50 million per year, which is equivalent to about a quarter of its current spending. This £50.7 million is equivalent to £215 for each resident.

Based on national averages, the services that AnyCouncil could fund each year with the £50.7 million it has lost would be more than one million hours of home care provision, more than 12,500 weeks of care for the elderly, at least three average-sized libraries kept open, and more than 130,000 potholes filled.

The LGA’s full Budget submission can be viewed at: www.local.gov.uk/moving-conversation-lga-budgetsubmission-2018

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