Laura Sharman 10 July 2017

Councils should have right to more cash in wake of DUP deal, finds survey

Local authorities should have the right to ask for more funding in their own region following the government’s £1bn DUP deal, a new survey has revealed.

However, 70% of local government lawyers surveyed by Winckworth Sherwood also said they did not expect any extra money to be allocated.

Joanna Bussell, a partner at Winckworth Sherwood, said: ‘Over two thirds (67%) of local authorities attending our conference, believe the recent deal with the DUP gives them a greater right to demand increased spending in their own regions. Whether they are successful or not is perhaps another matter.

‘At the same time, we asked delegates whether they believe they will see a softening of cuts to local authority funding, following the weakened position of the Conservative government. They were a little more pessimistic, with 70% expecting no change.’

Over three quarters (77%) of those surveyed also said they are exploring the option of setting up a new housing company to build new homes.

Simon Randall, a consultant to Winckworth Sherwood and the former leader of Bromley Council, added: ‘Housing provision has been a big issue for local authorities for a number of years, and they now appear to be taking matters into their own hands. How this plays in terms of housing numbers will be interesting to watch unfold over the course of this parliament.’

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