William Eichler 15 July 2019

Next PM has ‘100 days’ to save local government

Next PM has ‘100 days’ to save local government  image

A think tank has called on the next Prime Minister to announce a one year emergency local government finance settlement during their first 100 days in office.

The Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) has launched the final report of the Local Finance Taskforce which sets out what they describe as a ‘roadmap for the future sustainability of local finance’.

An LGiU survey published in February found that eight in 10 (80%) councils said they were not confident in the sustainability of local government finance. None said they were ‘very confident’.

Many of these councils warned that they would have to cut community services in 2019 because of a lack of funds.

The LGiU’s new report sets out a plan for developing what the think tank argues is a ‘fair and sustainable’ funding system for local government.

As well as calling on the next PM to make a commitment to a one year emergency funding settlement, the report also urges them to remove the council tax referendum requirement and declare a national strategy for health and social care funding.

‘At the moment, councils have no idea how they will be funded this time next year. They face a financial cliff edge on 31st March 2020 and currently have no ability to budget or plan their services for the year ahead,’ said Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of LGiU.

‘Some may soon be forced to take very difficult decisions, based on their worst-case scenario budget estimates – making redundancies, stripping down services, selling valued public assets – that may turn out to be completely unnecessary.

‘Under normal circumstances, this would be a recipe for disaster but under the current Government it appears to be another issue caught up in the Brexit fog.’

‘Our Local Finance Taskforce sets out a roadmap for the future that is sustainable,’ said Dr Carr-West.

‘In it, we demand from Government a local government funding system that is fair, transparent and provides certainty and a settlement that is clear about the role and value of councils, and their relationship with the wider public sector and society.’

‘Local government deserves better and local government deserves more,’ he added.

The report warned many councils were ‘now in a position where they are funding core services through returns on commercial ventures, which many feel uncomfortable about’.

Participatory budgeting image

Participatory budgeting

Evgeny Barkov explains what participatory budgeting means and how it can reveal what citizens need.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Caseworker - Children and Education

Essex County Council
£20604.0 - £22664 per annum
Please note this is a 6 month fixed term contract As a caseworker in the Children and Education Team you will help to provide a high-quality advice an England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Executive Director Public Health and Integrated Commissioning

Sunderland City Council
£105,361 - £125,042 (with the potential for a market supplement)
You’ll provide strong, visible, transformational and system leadership to drive improvements in the health and wellbeing of... Sunderland, Tyne and Wear
Recuriter: Sunderland City Council

Chief Housing Officer

Pembrokeshire County Council
£58,917 - £64,638
As Senior Leader you will have a strong commitment to our Tenants, working as a committed and conscientious landlord, developing homes and... Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)
Recuriter: Pembrokeshire County Council

Utility Liaison Officer

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£31,434 - £34,986 per annum
You will also be responsible for agreeing all relevant inspection and permit fee charges with utility companies including... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Rough Sleep Coordinator

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£40,760 - £45,591 per annum
This position is a fixed term contract until 31/08/2022. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue