Sam Clayden 18 December 2015

Four-year finance deal for local government

Councils have been given a four-year funding settlement to give them financial certainty up to 2020.

The financial settlement, published yesterday, includes up to £3.5bn of additional cash available for adult social care by 2019/20.

A further £1.5bn has been put aside for councils to work with the NHS to ensure care is available for older people following hospital treatment through the Better Care Fund.

The New Homes Bonus has also been extended indefinitely though there will be a consultation on government reforms to the policy.

Communities secretary Greg Clark said: 'This protects the resources available to councils over the next four years, puts more money into the agreed priority of caring for elderly people and offers councils the certainty of a four-year budget.

'This settlement has been achieved by listening to local government leaders who have had a good track record of making savings and delivering valued services over the last five years.'

The Local Government Association (LGA) said the settlement offers a 'new age' for local councils.

Chairman of the LGA, Gary Porter, said: 'This settlement should mark the beginning of a new age of independence and responsibility for local councils.

'It is an exciting time to be a councillor and this reform gives us all the biggest chance for a generation to serve our residents in a way that we know best.'

Visit The MJ (£) to read more on the financial settlement.

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