No new funding from Chancellor

But there was no new funding for councils following last year’s Autumn Budget, which gave extra one-off cash for social care, potholes and high streets.

The LGA said it was disappointing that Chancellor Philip Hammond had missed an opportunity to provide further, desperately needed, funding for under-pressure local services, given that councils still face a funding gap of more than £3 billion in 2019/20.

An LGA spokesperson said: “The money local government has to maintain the services our communities rely on is running out fast and huge uncertainty remains about how local services will be paid for into the next decade.”

The Chancellor also confirmed that the Government will hold the Spending Review alongside this year’s Autumn Budget. This will set departmental budgets, including three-year budgets for resource spending, if an EU exit deal is agreed.

The LGA has warned that publishing the review alongside the Budget – held at the end of October last year – “could exacerbate the funding challenges facing councils and will severely hamper their ability to plan ahead for next year and beyond”.

The spokesperson added: “It is vital that the Government publishes the Spending Review much earlier and ensures it genuinely secures the financial sustainability of councils.

“Now is the time to invest in our people and our places. Brexit cannot be a distraction from the challenges facing our public services. If we truly value our local services, then we have to be prepared to pay for them.

“Fully funding councils is the only way councils will be able to keep providing the services that matter to people’s lives, continue to lead their local areas, improve residents’ lives, reduce demand for public services, and save money for the taxpayer.”

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