Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Resources Board, responds to a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies on local government funding.
“With councils in England facing an overall funding gap of £8 billion by 2025, the IFS is right to reinforce our warning that unsustainable funding cuts and demand pressures are pushing local services to the brink.
Pressures continue to grow in children’s services, adult social care, and efforts to tackle homelessness. This is leaving increasingly less money for councils to fund other vital services, such as the maintenance of parks, certain bus services, cultural activities and council tax support for those in financial difficulty to try and plug growing funding gaps.
“Huge uncertainty also remains about how local services will be paid for next year and beyond. The Spending Review will therefore be make or break for vital local services and securing the financial sustainability of councils must be the top priority. If the Government fails to adequately fund local government in the Spending Review then there is a real risk to the future financial viability of some services and councils.
“Fully funding councils is the only way to ensure councils can continue to provide all of the valued local services which make such a positive difference to communities and people’s lives."
#CouncilsCan: Spending Review 2019
With the right funding and powers, councils can continue to lead local areas, improve residents’ lives, reduce demand for public services and save money for the taxpayer. Securing the financial sustainability of local services must be the top priority for the Spending Review.