“With councils still facing a funding gap of more than £3 billion in 2019/20, it is disappointing that the Chancellor has missed the opportunity to use today’s Spring Statement to provide further desperately-needed funding for our under-pressure local services this year.
Responding to the Spring Statement, Lord Porter, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said:
“The Government acted on our calls to find extra one-off funding for councils this year in the last Autumn Budget, including for social care, potholes and high streets. With councils still facing a funding gap of more than £3 billion in 2019/20, it is disappointing that the Chancellor has missed the opportunity to use today’s Spring Statement to provide further desperately-needed funding for our under-pressure local services this year.
“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.
“Last year’s Autumn Budget was the earliest for a number of years but was still held at the end of October. The Government’s plan to publish the Spending Review alongside the Autumn Budget this year could exacerbate the funding challenges facing councils and will severely hamper their ability to plan ahead for next year and beyond. 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 which 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.”
Notes to editors
- Between 2010 and 2020, councils will have lost almost 60p out of every £1 the Government had provided for services.
- The LGA’s #CouncilsCan campaign aims to influence the forthcoming Spending Review and highlight the growing risk to vital local services if the Government does not take action to secure the financial sustainability of councils. Visit out campaign page for more information.
#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.