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Post-Autumn Statement temperature check

In November 2023, the Local Government Association sent an online survey to the leaders and chief executives of all councils in England. The purpose of the survey was to assess their reactions to the 2023 Autumn Statement, as well as to understand the impact of the current financial statement on their councils’ services.

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A total of 114 chief executives and 71 leaders responded – a response rate of 36 per cent for chief executives and 22 per cent for leaders. 

Key findings

  • Some 7 per cent of respondents thought that their Section 151 officer was very or fairly likely to issue a Section 114(3) notice in 2023/24, whilst 17 per cent thought that this was very or fairly likely to happen in 2024/25.
  • More than a quarter (29 per cent) of respondents were not very confident or not at all confident that their local authority will have enough funding to fulfil all its statutory duties in 2023/24, whilst 50 per cent were not confident of fulfilling their statutory duties in 2024/25. This includes the provision of statutory services.
  • Nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of respondents did not think that there were any announcements in the 2023 Autumn Statement which would help them to deal with their council’s financial position.
  • Ninety-five per cent of respondents saw at least some of the LGA’s activity on the day of the Autumn Statement.
  • When asked what they need from the Local Government Finance Settlement, respondents requested funding proportional to inflation and rising demands, a greater degree of financial stability and predictability, and greater government strategy and planning to deal with the underlying issues causing financial difficulties for councils and local communities.