Autumn Statement: CCN responds

CCN Latest News, CCN News 2023 | 22 November 2023

The government has published its Autumn Statement today, which contained no specific funding for local authorities’ funding pressures.

The County Councils Network had called for emergency resource for county authorities due to rising costs in children’s services and in SEND provision, and had made the case alongside other key sector voices.

Below, the County Councils Network responds to today’s announcement.

Cllr Tim Oliver, Chairman of the County Councils Network, said:

“In the lead up to today’s Autumn Statement the County Councils Network laid bare the financial situation facing well managed local authorities: they face overspending by over £600m this year alone and a total budget shortfall over £4bn over the next three years, even with council tax rises.

“A failure to address these severe pressures in today’s Autumn Statement will be deeply disappointing for county local authorities. This mounting tide of costs is threatening the financial sustainability of high performing councils across the country, with many now likely to have to make cuts and reductions to local services in order to balance their budget. For some, even this might not be enough such is the scale of the challenge.

We understand that the public finances are tight, but the government had some fiscal headroom in today’s budget to spend on councils. Local government is a vital part of the fabric of this country but every reduction in service erodes the role they play in society and makes it harder to provide the important services they do: from protecting the most vulnerable, from regenerating their areas, to even the simple things such as keeping our streets clean.

“The government still has an opportunity to deliver short-term financial relief for councils at the local government settlement in December. We urge the government to provide additional funding focused on children’s social care and home to school transport, coupled with reforms that can help ease the burden on the treasury and reduce long-term costs.”

Notes to editor

  • CCN’s warnings that its members face an overspend of over £600m this year can be read here.