Laura Sharman 12 November 2020

County councils warn of insolvency risk without frontline cuts

Only a fifth of England's largest councils are confident they can deliver a balanced budget next year without dramatic reduction to services, a new survey has revealed.

The research by the County Councils Network (CCN) warns that confidence drops even further in 2022/23, with just one local authority confident of setting a balanced budget that year.

The councils warned there is limited scope to reduce non-care services such as libraries, bus routes, and school transport, meaning reductions are likely to fall on social care services.

Over half (56%) are planning to reduce access to care packages, 27% will have to cut services for children in council care, and a third are planning reductions to early years and youth services.

Just one council said they would be able to invest in adult social care over the next two years if extra funding was not made available.

Cllr David Williams, chairman of the CCN, said: 'Councils have pulled out all the stops throughout this pandemic to protect residents, maintain vital services and support the economic recovery. To ensure that they can continue to do whatever it takes over the winter to combat Coronavirus and to prevent severe reductions to services next year, they need a significant increase in funding for 2021/22, alongside an income guarantee to protect against losses in council tax.'

Cllr Nick Rushton, leader of Leicestershire County Council, added: 'We have taken tough decisions since 2010 to put our council on a sustainable footing, but Coronavirus has dramatically changed the situation and we are now facing severe funding shortfalls and uncertainty next year. The big difference from last year is the drop in council tax income and this is why an "income guarantee" for councils can stave off major service reductions.'

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Interim Head of Fostering

Tile Hill
Negotiable day rate
We are working with a local authority client in London who is looking for an Interim Head of Fostering, the local authority was last inspected as “... London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Interim Head of Children in Care and Care Leavers

Tile Hill
Negotiable day rate
We are working with a local authority client in London who is looking for an Interim Head of Children in Care and Care Leavers, the local authority... London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Head of Regeneration and Economy

City of York Council
£59,593 - £68,094
York is a wonderful place to live and work and it is quite rightly famous across the globe. York, North Yorkshire / Hybrid
Recuriter: City of York Council

Clinical Lead, North Essex

Essex County Council
Clinical Lead, North EssexPermanent, Full TimeUp to £57,869 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Assistant Director Legal,&Governance/Monitoring Officer

Rochdale BC
£70,340 - £81,589
The Assistant Director role has breadth of responsibility beyond legal services incorporating Constitutional and Democratic Services Rochdale, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Rochdale BC

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.