Laura Sharman 30 June 2016

Councils to use £1.9bn from reserves to fund services

Councils are planning to use £1.9bn of their cash reserves in the next financial year, according to official figures.

The statistics show local authorities have budgeted to spend 9% of their reserves between 2016-17.

The figures reveal that adult social care services will see the biggest rise in expenditure, with councils planning to invest an extra £308m in services for the elderly and vulnerable.

Councils will also up their spending on children’s and families social care services by £136m, with an extra £175m being spent on public health services.

Education services will see the largest decrease in spending in 2015-16, with a fall of 2.2% (£765m), mainly due to the number of schools being converted into academies.

Communities secretary Greg Clark said: ‘At a time when local authorities are playing their part in paying down the deficit, more than £300m extra will be invested this year to deliver high-quality adult social care services.

‘Councils will have almost £200bn to spend on services over the lifetime of this Parliament and I’m pleased the vast majority are also making use of new flexibilities to prioritise the services people really care about.’

The statistics also show that local authorities are planning on raising £80m by selling surplus assets to help transform services.

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