William Eichler 22 July 2019

Neighbourhood services cut by £8.9bn

Funding for neighbourhood services across Britain has fallen 27% over the last decade, according to new research.

A new report by the New Policy Institute has found that over the nine years from 2009/10 resources devoted to neighbourhood services, such as parks and public realm, had been cut by £8.9bn in 2017/18.

Published by APSE, the report says that the real fall in total UK local government spending over the same period was 19%, which means neighbourhood services have been hit harder by austerity than other council services.

‘It is now clear that reductions in local government spending has gone too far,’ said Paul O’Brien, APSE’s chief executive.

‘In spite of well-intentioned announcements by the chancellor to allow public spending to grow in real terms at 1.2% a year from 2020/21 this is not enough to prevent the share of local government spending in the whole economy from continuing to slide.’

He added: ‘To address these deepening concerns local government spending must, as a matter of urgency, be restored to a minimum sustainable level after which its growth must be linked to the growth rate of the economy.

‘Only when that has happened will austerity for local government truly be over.’

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