“We are pleased the Government has acted on our call for desperately-needed new money for councils to meet the rising cost pressures they face this year and published this final settlement quickly so councils can effectively plan how to provide local services."
Responding to the final Local Government Finance Settlement announced today, Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said:
“We are pleased the Government has acted on our call for desperately-needed new money for councils to meet the rising cost pressures they face this year and published this final settlement quickly so councils can effectively plan how to provide local services.
“Extra funding for social care this year, council-tax raising powers and the continuation of key grants confirmed today are good news and will ensure councils can help older and disabled people to live more independently, support our most vulnerable young people and continue to deliver vital services.
“We are disappointed that the Government has not used the final settlement to provide the £220 million needed to pay for the faster than expected rise in the National Living Wage (NLW) from April. Councils fully support the NLW but this unforeseen new cost pressure needs to be funded to avoid the fragile care provider market being further destabilised. We also urge the Government to publish the public health settlement as soon as possible so councils can properly plan how to provide vital services which help people stay healthy, while reducing the strain on the NHS and social care.
“Councils have faced an unprecedented period of funding and demand pressures and continue to face significant pressures and challenges. The positive settlement confirmed today is for one-year only and we look forward to working with the Government to ensure its forthcoming Budget and Spending Review provides a funding settlement that allows councils to improve services and not just keep them going.
“With long-term investment, councils can protect local services, meet the significant ongoing pressures they face both now and in the future and make a huge difference to the lives of our residents and communities.”