Ellie Ames 06 June 2024

‘Existential crisis’ for councils as £6bn funding gap revealed

‘Existential crisis’ for councils as £6bn funding gap revealed image
Image: Sutthiphong Chandaeng / Shutterstock.com.

A new Local Government White Paper has uncovered a £6.2bn funding gap facing councils in England over the next two years.

Produced by the Local Government Association (LGA), the paper urges all political parties to commit to a ‘significant and sustained’ increase in funding for councils in the next Spending Review, alongside plans to reform the local government finance system.

The LGA also called on the next government to commission a major review of public service reform to better understand how public services can work together, with more focus on preventative services.

By devolving more powers over skills and employment and backing local climate action, the Government could enable councils to create jobs, plug skills gaps and increase productivity, the White Paper argues.

The LGA’s senior vice chairman, Kevin Bentley, said: ‘Local government’s offer to the next government is huge. Respect us, trust us and fund us.

‘By working together as equal partners, we can meet the fundamental long-term challenges facing our communities.’

Unison’s head of local government, Mike Short, said years of underfunding had left councils facing an ‘existential crisis’, with several facing effective bankruptcy.

He said: ‘Without a sustained programme of proper investment many more will go under. This cannot be allowed to happen.’

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