Local services ‘will cost £8 billion more by 2024’

Councils in England face extra cost pressures of almost £8 billion by 2024/25 just to keep vital local services running at today’s levels, according to LGA analysis.

It has warned that these pressures cannot be met by council tax income alone. 

Councils are particularly alarmed that the Government’s solution for tackling existing pressures in social care appears to be solely through the use of council tax and the social care precept.

The LGA’s detailed submission to October’s Treasury Spending Review calls for councils to be given a multi-year settlement that provides sufficient additional government funding and certainty to meet growing cost pressures and existing challenges. 

It would also enable councils to plan local services more efficiently and help reduce pressures on the rest of the public sector.

The LGA is also calling for an ongoing Community Investment Fund, worth £1 billion in 2022/23, which councils could use to support individuals, strengthen communities, and tackle priorities in their local areas, including health inequalities – all of which will be vital to levelling up across the country. 

Cllr James Jamieson, LGA Chairman, said: “Councils continue to face severe funding and demand pressures that will stretch the local services our communities rely on to the limit. Securing the long-term sustainability of local services must therefore be the top priority in the Spending Review.

“If we are to come out of this pandemic with a society that is truly levelled up, the vital services that councils provide must be at the heart of it.

“Councils need certainty over their medium-term finances, adequate funding to tackle day-to-day pressures, and long-term investment in people and transforming places to turn levelling up from a political slogan to a reality that leads to real change for people’s lives.”

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