Motion relating to the Local Government Finance Report 2019/20, House of Commons debate, 5 February 2019

Councils are central to building communities that are inclusive, cohesive and promote people’s life chances.

Key messages

  • Councils are central to building communities that are inclusive, cohesive and promote people’s life chances. They do this by tailoring more than 800 local services to the needs of their residents. Investing in local services is good for the nation’s prosperity, economic growth and overall health and wellbeing.
  • The local government finance settlement contained some new money for councils. This included £18 million to ensure there were no changes to the New Homes Bonus threshold and £152.9 million to cancel out the adjustment known as negative Revenue Support Grant (RSG).  
  • The Government also made an extra £16 million available through the Rural Services Delivery Grant, and returned £180 million to local government that had been top sliced to fund the business rates retention safety net.
  • The announcements in the finance settlement follow some positive news in the 2018 Budget. The Budget included £650 million for social care, £420 million for roads funding, and money for high streets. This shows the Government is listening to our call for investment to ease some of the pressures facing local services next year.
  • Despite the new money, councils will still face an overall funding gap in excess of £3 billion next year. We estimate this will rise to £8 billion by the middle of the next decade. In order to preserve critical services for local residents, the Government must take urgent steps to plug this gap.
  • It is absolutely vital that the Government uses the 2019 Spending Review to deliver truly sustainable funding for local government. There is currently no clarity over funding levels, nationally and locally, after March 2020.
  • As our campaign to influence the Spending Review gets under way, we will continue to work with councils, the Government, Parliament and stakeholders to make the case for sustainably funding councils.

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Bright Futures

Spending Review 2019
Without a sustainable funding, your council can't deliver the essential services that keep your communities running; securing the financial sustainability of local services must be the top priority for the Spending Review later this year.

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