Laura Sharman 05 July 2016

Clark launches review into future of council funding

Clark launches review into future of council funding image

Councils have been urged to ‘shape their financial future’ as communities secretary Greg Clark launches a consultation into the retention of business rates.

Speaking at the LGA annual conference in Bournemouth, the minister set out his Fair Funding Review looking at what financial freedoms and extra responsibilities could be transferred to councils.

Mr Clark said: ‘Today, we set out the first steps towards making that ambition a reality, transforming the relationship between Whitehall and town halls and putting local government at the heart of delivering strong economic growth for their communities.

‘These next few weeks offer councils an historic opportunity to play their part in these radical reforms and to shape their financial futures for decades to come.’

However, he also set out what element of the current system of local government funding are expected to remain, such as the New Burdens Doctrine, protections for significant reductions in income and a level of redistribution between councils.

In response, the LGA said the new system must reward councils for growing their local economies without penalising those areas less able to generate business rate income.

Cllr Nick Forbes, senior vice chair of the LGA, said: ‘Decisions over which grants and responsibilities councils will have to pay for from any extra business rates income are also crucial. As well as consideration of the grants and services listed in this consultation, councils are keen that any new responsibility they agree to take should support their vital role in driving economic growth.

‘Handing over responsibility for skills and transport services is the most logical fit as it would allow local areas to close skills gaps, improve public transport and boost local economies.’

Cllr Forbes added that council do not want responsibility for demand-led services such as the Attendance Allowance benefit for older people.

‘That is because cost pressures and applications for demand-led services like Attendance Allowance can go up very quickly whereas it can take much longer for local areas to generate business rates income,’ he said.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior Product Manager

Essex County Council
£50000 - £62858 per annum
Senior Product ManagerFixed Term, 12 months (secondments from other local authorities and civil service departments will be considered)Full Time, flex England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Experienced Occupational Therapists

Essex County Council
£30906 - £47405 per annum
Experienced Occupational TherapistsPermanent, Full Time£30,906 - £47,405 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Experienced Social Workers

Essex County Council
£30906 - £47405 per annum
Experienced Social WorkersPermanent, Full Time£30,906 - £47,405 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Residential Workers x2 - The Maples

Essex County Council
£20604 - £26801 per annum + Plus Benefits Package
Residential Workers x2 - The MaplesPermanentFull Time£20,604 to £26,801 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Assessment and Intervention

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Social Worker - Assessment and InterventionPermanent, Full Time£30,906 to £42,254 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue