Laura Sharman 19 November 2015

Council chiefs lash out at ‘misleading’ reserves figure

Council chiefs lash out at ‘misleading’ reserves figure image

Reports that councils have more than £22bn in cash reserves have been slammed as ‘hugely misleading’ by council leaders.

Yesterday, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said local authorities in England held £22.5bn in non-ringfenced reserves, an increase of 170% in the past 15 years.

However, the Local Government Association (LGA) said the figure did not paint an accurate picture of councils’ finances as some of this had already been earmarked for certain projects or would allow councils to manage future risks.

‘These figures are hugely misleading and the suggestion that they prove councils are able to absorb further funding cuts is wrong,’ said cllr Claire Kober, resources portfolio holder at the LGA.

‘Reserves can help councils manage growing financial risks to local services but what’s left after these earmarked reserves would only cover less than a month’s spending at a time when many councils are already struggling to keep services running.

The LGA added that 93 councils had already been forced to withdraw from their reserves in 2014/15, with a further 203 planning to do in the next financial year.

Communities secretary, Greg Clark, said: ‘As we continue to secure our country’s economic future and cut the deficit, now is the time to make efficient use of their assets and resources to provide the services local people want to see.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Chief Executive

South Kesteven District Council
Up to £127k
South Kesteven is a district with plenty going for it. Grantham, Lincolnshire
Recuriter: South Kesteven District Council

ASC Occupational Therapist - Early Intervention Team

Essex County Council
£30300 - £41425 per annum
We are looking to recruit 2 Occupational Therapists to work within Clacton or Colchester. Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dy England, Essex, Clacton-On-Sea
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Youth Support Worker DofE

Essex County Council
£995 - £1049 per annum
Our Youth Support Workers work with young people completing their Duke of Edinburgh's Award, supporting them to complete all sections, including their expeditions. England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Duke of Edinburgh Team Leader

Essex County Council
£19260 - £21682 per annum
We are currently seeking a Youth Work Team Leader to supervise the development of the Duke of Edinburgh program and delivery of youth work projects, as well as work directly with young people in informal settings and maintain professional and purposeful r England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Head of Programme Management Office

Manchester City Council
£60,857 to £65,865
As the Head of PMO, you will define and maintain standards for project management within the Highways Service. Manchester, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Manchester City Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine