William Eichler 28 January 2019

Council spending on cultural services slashed by £400m

Council spending on cultural services slashed by £400m image

Council spending on cultural resources such as museums, libraries, and the arts has been reduced by almost £400m over the last eight years of austerity, new research has revealed.

An analysis of council spending by the County Councils Network (CCN) has found that metropolitan borough councils have reduced their culture spend by £104m - or 28% - since 2011, with London scaling back by £75m in the same period.

CCN’s research also discovered that non-county unitary authorities have reduced expenditure on culture by £41m over the last eight years. District councils have reduced their culture spend by £3.1m.

However, CCN found that residents in county areas have seen the heaviest reductions in spending on museums, galleries, libraries, and the local arts.

Local authorities in shire counties and rural areas have reduced their spending in these services by 30% (£187m) since 2011, higher than anywhere else in England.

‘Councils play a major role supporting local cultural and arts organisations, and provide excellent libraries and museums,’ said Cllr Philip Atkins, Conservative vice-chairman of the CCN.

‘That support has not dried up completely – we spent £1bn on these services last year, whilst austerity has provided the impetus for many areas to innovate in delivering more with less.’

However, Cllr Atkins continued, the ‘unprecedented demand’ for care services has meant councils have been forced to shift funding from cultural to care services

Upper-tier county local authorities are now spending on average 65% of their budgets on adult social care and children’s social service alone.

‘With the unprecedented demand for care services continuing, we have regrettably had to shift funding from other areas to fulfil our statutory duties and more importantly protect the elderly and vulnerable,’ said Cllr Atkins, who is also the leader of Staffordshire County Council.

‘This trend is happening across all local councils, but is felt more in shire areas, where the average county spends two-thirds of its budget on care services.’

Overcoming the barriers to Commercial Card use image

Overcoming the barriers to Commercial Card use

Want to reap the benefits of Commercial Cards but coming up against some challenges? James Sykes, Head of Commercial Cards, Lloyds Bank and David Legg, Head of Corporate Card Products, Lloyds Bank, discuss how the payments industry is helping organisations unlock their true value.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£30,451 - £34,728 per annum
We are looking for a Social Worker for a fixed-term 12 month contract to cover maternity. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Governance Officer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£22,627 to £24,491
For further information on the role please click. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Team Manager Family Connect

Telford & Wrekin Council
£45.859 to £48.841 per annum
We're looking for an enthusiastic, highly motivated and experienced Team Manager with substantial experience.  Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Experienced Children's Senior Social Worker - Assessment /Family Safeguarding

Telford & Wrekin Council
£38,890 - £41,881 per annum
As one of our Senior Social Workers we will support you to develop your skills and knowledge when working with families using a restorative approach. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Senior Social Worker

Telford & Wrekin Council
£38,890 - £41,881 per annum
This is an exciting time for Telford and Wrekin’s Children’s Social Care as we move forward on our Transformation Journey.   Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin 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