LGA responds to PAC report on financial sustainability of local authorities

Media release 18 November 2016

Responding to a Public Accounts Committee report on the financial sustainability of local authorities, Cllr Claire Kober, Chair of the Local Government Association's Resources Board, said:

"Councils experienced a 40 per cent reduction in core central government funding over the last Parliament and funding pressures will continue over the next few years. This means difficult decisions continue to have to be made about which services are scaled back or stopped altogether to plug funding gaps.

"Against this continued backdrop of financial austerity, councils are having to continuously look for new ways to generate revenue. Across the country, council officers and members are developing the skills and expertise to take a more commercial approach to investment decisions

"All commercial activity involves risk and potential losses as well as the potential to make profits. Local authorities have to adhere to strict rules and assessments before making a decision to ensure it is affordable and provides value for money. The LGA is supporting councils to develop understanding of these risks and opportunities.

"More self-sufficiency for local government cannot be accompanied by central government reviews and monitoring. Councils are open, transparent and democratically accountable and their spending is already subject to public scrutiny."

17 November 2016