CCN News 2016 | 17 March 2016
Local Government Finance
“CCN welcome the news that Government will not impose further cuts on local government in the short-term.
Business rates discounts will come as a welcome boost to local high-streets, small and medium sized businesses. However, questions remain over how the £6.7bn of tax breaks will be funded.
It is important that Government fully compensate councils for any loss of income. This should not be an additional financial burden for authorities, who will wholly rely local taxation by the end of the Parliament.
In deciding where the new £3.5bn of unspecified savings in 2019/20 will fall, hopefully Government will respect their commitment to a fair and sustainable long-term financial settlement for councils.
Counties have already delivered unprecedented efficiency savings to the public purse and will continue to do so during this Parliament.
We cannot underestimate the challenges counties face in delivering balanced budgets and protecting the frontline services in the coming years.”
“CCN have led the debate on devolution outside our major cities.
Today some real progress has been made, with substantial deals empowering the historic counties of Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk.
Such deals will see billions of pounds of infrastructure investment for these areas, and transport, skills and growth decisions brought closer to the people and businesses they affect.
These deals are rightly built around county geographies and two-tier collaboration and include changes to local democratic structures, with the first non-city Elected Mayors.
CCN will continue work with these member councils and Government ensure arrangements are sustainable going forward.
In doing so, the coherence of county geographies and the service expertise of county councils will be vital elements in driving growth and reforming public services.
Building on our scale and strategic capacity and working with our district partners, counties must be empowered to capture the benefits from devolution, safeguard the most vulnerable and maximise efficiencies in delivering local services.
This Budget should signal a further drive towards empowering local partners to deliver real change for local residents.
To realise a Devolution Revolution we hope to see further transformational county ‘deals’ agreed across the country over the coming period.”