Local authorities are under unprecedented financial pressure almost a decade after austerity first began. Billions in funding reductions coupled with a sharp rise in demand for care services has led to an incredibly tough climate. The challenges faced by Northamptonshire brought the plight of local authorities into the mainstream, but it is now high-performing councils of all shapes and sizes warning that the situation is fast becoming unsustainable.
In response to CCN and sector advocacy, the government has made extra funding available for councils next year. Whilst this funding is welcome, the medium and long-term outlook for county authorities is extremely challenging. This year’s Spending Review provides the opportunity to deliver badly-needed additional funding for local government and reform some key grants already received by councils.
CCN will continue to advocate for the resources needed to meet the severe demand-led financial pressures facing county authorities, but the campaign is not focused solely on standing still – our member authorities have big ambitions for their communities and we will illustrate the benefits of investing in local government and the return on investment for the government.
It is also imperative that the government reforms key local government income streams, such as council tax, New Homes Bonus, and business rates to provide more freedom for councils and allow counties to better invest in their communities, promote growth, and deliver more homes and vital infrastructure.
In advocating for A Fairer Future for Counties, CCN will work with the rest of the sector to make a clear and compelling case for additional resource for all councils.