£1.3 billion cut will ‘tip many councils over the edge’

Almost half of all councils – 168 in total – will no longer receive any Revenue Support Grant funding next year.

The LGA is calling on the Chancellor to use the Autumn Budget to tackle the immediate funding crisis for local government in 2019/20, as well as setting the scene for the forthcoming Spending Review to deliver a sustainable funding settlement for local government.

As part of its Autumn Budget 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 residents living in a council area which 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.

The LGA said the financial viability of some councils is now under threat and many others are increasingly unable to provide dignified care for our elderly and disabled, protect children, boost economic growth, fill potholes, build homes and more.

Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the LGA’s Resources Board, said: “Losing a further
£1.3 billion of central government funding at this time is going to tip many councils over the edge. Many local authorities will reach the point where they only have the funds to provide statutory responsibilities and it will be our local communities and economies who will suffer the consequences.

“In his Spring Statement in March, the Chancellor said he would invest in public services if public finances improve as recent forecasts have suggested. It is, therefore, vital that the Government addresses the growing funding gaps facing councils in 2019/20 in the Autumn Budget.

“If the Government fails to fund local government adequately there is a real risk to the future financial viability of some services and councils.”

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