From the TUC

Local government funding to be slashed again in 2015

26 Jun 2013, by in Public services

Local government funding is set to be slashed again in 2015. According to today’s government spending review, the funding given to local councils by the Department of Communities and Local Government will be reduced by £2.1 billion down to £23.5 billion, a cut of 8.2% excluding inflation. As not all council spending comes from central government, this is expected to result in an overall reduction in local government spending of 2.3%.

By all accounts – except Mr Osborne’s – cuts in local government are already reaching the bone. I know from personal experience that libraries are being closed and that the cuts to rural bus services are worse than decimation, none of which tallies with my view of how a civilised country should conduct itself.

The antipathetically inclined reader may want to just discount the above as the jaundiced view of “producer interest”, so in this case I will step aside to give some space to a senior Conservative and successful businessman to respond to the news of even deeper cuts.

Sir Merrick Cockell is the chairman of the Local Government Association, and the leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, so he is about as far away from being one of “the usual suspects” as it is possible to be.

He said that the Coalition was pursuing “a feudal approach to local government” which would stretch essential services to breaking point.

“While positive steps have been taken to target NHS funding at social care, the fact remains that some councils will simply not have enough money to meet all their statutory responsibilities… Services such as culture and leisure facilities, school support, road maintenance and growth-related programmes will bear the brunt of these cuts,” he said, and added that councils were already coping with 33% cut in real terms .

If these plans go ahead they will further damage the economic and social life of this country.

One Response to Local government funding to be slashed again in 2015

  1. Matt Dykes

    Matt Dykes
    Jun 26th 2013, 4:24 pm

    Osborne and Pickles are blind to impact of cuts on local government services. Probably because (according to PASC report here: http://tinyurl.com/lbg36hm) government is undertaking no systematic analysis of impacts.

    As the report says:

    “Central government is cutting funding to local authorities by more than a quarter over four years but does not properly understand what the overall impact will be on local services.”

    “Departments have provided some information on possible impacts but it was superficial and incomplete. For instance, the Department for Education has failed to provide a proper cost analysis of how funding reductions will affect services to children”

    Along with other research from LGA, the IFS and UNISON, the PASC report finds that:

    “The more grant dependent local authorities are suffering the highest reductions in spending power. But these are the very councils which serve poorer and more vulnerable communities whose need for services is the greatest.”

    “This raises the spectre of the worst-affected councils being unable to meet their statutory obligations. In some cases local authorities may cease to be viable, with the first such authority already identified. “