William Eichler 31 October 2022

Councils face £3bn funding gap

Councils face £3bn funding gap image
Image: Becky Stares/Shutterstock.com.

Local authorities could be forced to cut essential services as they face a collective funding gap of over £3bn, Unison warns.

Research by the union shows that Birmingham City Council is projected to have the largest funding gap at £80.1m in 2023/24. Bradford Council is next on £77.1m, closely followed by the City of Edinburgh Council on £62.6m.

Drawing on data relating to 391 local councils across the UK, Unison found that 86% have a predicted budget gap.

The union calculated that there will be a collective shortfall of £3.19bn across councils in 2023/24. This will rise to over £5.28bn in 2024/25.

Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said: ‘Local authorities provide the essential services everyone relies on such as waste collection, road repairs, and children’s care.

‘But cash-strapped councils are having to resort to ever more desperate measures after years of austerity just to keep services going. Now the government looks set to make their predicament infinitely worse with emergency cuts to spending following the mini-budget fiasco.

‘Local communities cannot be the ones to pay the price for the government’s grotesque mismanagement of the economy. The new prime minister and chancellor must sort the crisis in local government funding, and give councils the cash they need to save services.’

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