Councils will receive new government grant funding totalling £4.8 billion over the next three years, courtesy of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s recent Spending Review and Budget announcements.
The LGA said the additional £1.6 billion a year from 2022 will help meet some, but not all, of the costs of maintaining local services at pre-pandemic levels.
Measures announced in the Spending Review included:
- £2.6 billion for school places for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
- £208 million by 2024/25 for early years, including £18 million for family hubs
- a new £500 million Multiply Fund to help adults improve their numeracy skills
- £9 million to help councils create new, urban ‘pocket parks’.
There was also capital investment in skills, transport, and house building, as well as the release of the first £1.7 billion of the Levelling Up Fund.
But there was no extra cash for public health nor frontline adult social care services, and no mention of a multi-year funding settlement for councils.
Cllr James Jamieson, LGA Chairman, said: “We are pleased the Spending Review has provided new government grant funding for councils to support vital local services.
“It is disappointing that the Chancellor has not provided additional funding to address existing pressures on adult social care services and not increased public health funding.
“We remain concerned that the money allocated to social care from the Health and Care Levy will be insufficient to fund reforms.”
He added: “Investing in local places is one of the most powerful tools of the Government’s levelling up agenda. With adequate long-term resources and freedoms, councils can deliver world-class local services for our communities, tackle the climate emergency, and ensure all parts of the country are able to prosper in the future.”