Laura Sharman 30 October 2018

Cash boost for councils only a ‘sticking plaster’

Council are turning their attention to next year’s Spending Review amid warnings that yesterday’s Budget announcements failed to provide long-term stability for the sector.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said the funding ‘falls short’ of what councils require to fund local services.

‘Councils were at the front of the queue when austerity started so local services should be at the front of the queue if it is coming to an end,’ said Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA.

He added: ‘While this funding will ease some of the immediate financial pressure facing councils and our local services, it is clear that this cannot be a one-off. Today’s funding is a start, but the real test will come in the Spending Review next year.’

Adam Lent, director of the New Local Government Network (NLGN) think tank said: ‘The chancellor’s long list of one off and relatively small cash boosts are welcome but are really nothing more than sticking plasters. If austerity is genuinely to end then councils need a long-term settlement that delivers financial sustainability.

‘Councils will now look to the Spending Review next year for this but given the chancellor’s modest prediction for spending growth, they will look forward more in hope than expectation.’

The District Councils Network called for the Spending Review to protect the incentives of the New Homes Bonus and address negative RSG.

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