Councils warn of £5.8bn 'funding gap' by 2020

04 Juillet, 2017, 16:54 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • The cash pressures on local authorities are intensifying it has been claimed

The head of the influential body will say that there is "huge uncertainty" about how local services will be funded in the future, following a 75 per cent cut in funding from central government over the past three years.

Local government has had its central government funding cut by £15.7bn since 2010, the LGA says.

He will say: 'Councils can no longer be expected to run our vital local services on a shoestring.

In a keynote speech at the LGA's annual conference, Lord Porter will call for the Government to scrap the need to hold a referendum on raising council tax above a centrally-fixed threshold.

'Every penny in local taxation collected locally must be kept by local government and spent on our public services.

Addressing 1,200 public sector delegates at the LGA's annual conference in Birmingham today, attended by PSE, he stated that nearly half of all councils - 168 authorities - will no longer receive any of this core central government funding by 2019-20.

"If austerity is coming to an end, councils [must be] at the front of the queue".

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'We must shout from the rooftops for local government to be put back on a sustainable financial footing.

They also say efforts should be accelerated to enable local authorities to keep all of the £26bn they collect each year in business rates, instead of the 50% cap that applies at the moment.

"Councils are the ones who can be trusted to make a difference to people's lives".

The Department for Communities and Local Government said a new four-year financial settlement had given councils increased financial certainty, while town halls were also able to raise millions in extra funding for social care through a precept on council tax introduced in 2013.

"To build desperately-needed homes, create jobs and school places, provide the dignified care for our elderly and disabled and boost economic growth".

"Ministers have committed through a manifesto pledge to further help local authorities control more of what they raise, and we're working closely with the LGA to agree the best way to achieve this", a spokesman said.

Addressing the conference, Mr Javid will outline details of the bidding process for a new fund, aimed at overcoming some of the obstacles to new housing, such as poor transport links and digital infrastructure.

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