Laura Sharman 19 November 2015

Council chiefs lash out at ‘misleading’ reserves figure

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

Occupational Health Administrator

Cumbria County Council
£20,444 - £20,852
The Cumbria County Council Occupational Health team has an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic and motivated Health Administrator. Cumbria
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

Highways Team Leader - West x2

Cumbria County Council
£25,927 - £26,446
Are you a hard-working and experienced Highways operative, looking for the next step in your career? Cumbria
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

Street Lighting Operative

Cumbria County Council
£22,571 – £23,484
We are looking for the right candidate to join our team as a Street Lighting Operative. Cumbria
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

Programme and Project Officer - Domestic Abuse

Cumbria County Council
£28,226 - £29,174
Are you looking to gain experience in a challenging, and incredibly rewarding environment? Carlisle, Cumbria
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

Fostering Social Worker - West

Cumbria County Council
£31,895 - £32,798
As a Fostering Social Worker, you will recruitment and train Foster Carers, supporting them in providing high quality family placements for children. Cumbria
Recuriter: Cumbria County Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.