Conservative local government family welcomes £500m cash boost for councils

24 January 2024

The leaders of the Conservative local government family have today welcomed the additional financial support for local authorities, including a £500m cash boost for councils with responsibility for adult social care and children’s services, in the Local Government Finance Settlement published by the Government in a Written Ministerial Statement earlier today.

This funding will go some way in delivering the frontline priorities of our communities, including, re-surfacing our roads, speeding up the planning applications process, and providing decent care for the most vulnerable people in our society.  

Today’s announcement, following an intense lobbying campaign by the LGA Conservative Group and its colleagues in the County Council Network and the District Councils Network, demonstrates that the Prime Minister and the Conservative Government is truly behind the mission of local government to support communities in levelling up and to continue providing well run local services for our residents.

The Leaders of the Conservative local government family have spent months lobbying Government Ministers on behalf of councillors to secure this much needed cash boost for local government. In addition, we would like to put on record our thanks to the 44 Conservative Members of Parliament, which included seven former cabinet ministers, who signed the letter to the Prime Minister urging the Government to provide an emergency injection of funding to local government.

This settlement recognises the acute pressures being faced by district councils and this settlement will deliver an increase in the Funding Guarantee by a minimum of four per cent. Likewise, the Government has acknowledged the challenges faced by Internal Drainage Boards and for this reason an additional £3 million is set to be released outside of the settlement for Internal Drainage Boards.

Cllr Tim Oliver, Chairman and Conservative Group Leader at the County Councils Network (CCN), said:

“We strongly welcome the government listening to our concerns, and today’s announcement of an additional £500m will go some way to easing the pressures and in particular addressing the escalating demand and costs of delivering social care and home to school transport. I would like to thank the Prime Minister, the government, and County MPs for recognising those pressures and for responding very positively in supporting our case for additional funding. Whilst this extra funding will undoubtedly help us protect valued frontline services, councils, of course, still face difficult decisions when setting their budgets for 2024/25”.

Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, Chairman and Conservative Group Leader at the District Councils Network (DCN), said:

“We welcome the Government’s decision to allocate additional funding for essential district services, a move that will benefit residents and businesses throughout England. This offers some relief to district councils and the communities we support. It will help mitigate potentially extensive reductions to valued local services. But it’s important to note that the financial and operating challenges for district councils remain significant. It is clear that more comprehensive solutions will still be needed to fully address the ongoing financial pressures, including homelessness”.

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Senior Vice Chairman and Leader of the Conservative Group at the Local Government Association, said:

“Todays announcement is proof of what can be achieved by the Conservative family when working is joined up between our parliamentary colleagues and the wider local government family. We have taken great soundings from Conservative Councillors over many months and fed these important messages back to Cabinet Ministers across Whitehall. I know that Conservative led councils will continue to lead transformation efforts across the sector.