Dan Peters 26 June 2019

EXCLUSIVE: Victory on variation

The Treasury’s view of children’s services has been dealt a further blow after research linked 70% of spend variation to factors outside councils’ control.

Local Government Association (LGA) efforts to lobby for extra cash have repeatedly been met with scepticism from the Treasury due to wildly different spending levels between councils.

Latest figures show that spend per 0-25 year old adjusted for area costs varied from £274 to £1,057.

The £782 difference has led the Treasury to reject calls for cash by claiming that big spending councils should be able to reduce their costs without affecting outcomes.

Last year detailed analysis by consultancy Newton for the LGA identified five major factors – largely outside the control of councils – that together explained just over half of the variation in spend.

But now further LGA research has found that a collection of 17 factors can explain 71% of the variation in spend per 0-25-year-old between councils.

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