Laura Sharman 21 February 2020

Councils face £19bn funding gap by 2025

Councils will face a funding shortfall of £19.1bn over the next five years despite planning council tax increases, new research has shown.

Analysis by the County Councils Network (CCN) shows all the councils that have published their draft budgets so far are planning on raising council tax in April.

Of these, 116 plan to raise council tax by the full amount, and all but two will also levy the full 2% social care precept.

Despite this, CCN warns that councils face an annual funding gap of £3.8bn.

Cllr David Williams, chairman of the CCN, said: ‘No council leader wants to raise their council tax, especially after residents have faced rises over the last few years, but today’s figures show that we simply do not have a choice.

’Unfortunately – this pattern is set to continue, but even yearly council tax rises for residents over the next five years still leaves councils with a huge £19bn shortfall, meaning local politicians will need to continue to make really tough decisions to meet rising demand for services.’

County councils have suggested ministers should establish growth boards to coordinate economic development in areas that do not have elected mayors or combined authorities.

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