Today the Centre for Cities has released a new report, arguing that urban and city areas have shouldered the largest budget cuts over the last eight years, using spending reduction figures.
Simon Edwards, director of the County Councils Network, said:
“Unquestionably, all councils across the country have experienced unprecedented financial pressures over the last decade. However looking solely at past expenditure does not tell the complete story on where financial pressures are most acute.
“It is a combination of funding reductions alongside an exponential increase in demand for services which is a more clear illustrator of how bleak the future looks.
“County areas have been particularly affected by this perfect storm and are facing a £3.2bn black hole by 2020, largely due to costs outside of their control, and face a 43% reduction in government funding in the period 2016-2020 – far higher than anywhere else.
“ Counties contain the largest and fastest growing elderly populations, and have seen referrals to their children’s services rise by 106% in the last decade. Unlike other parts of the local government sector, counties have not benefitted from higher levels of business rate income, revenue from housing growth, and much higher per-person funding for public services.
“The real prize this year for local government will be an uplift in funding in the Spending Review for all councils, and we endorse the calls from Centre for Cities in calling for an end to councils’ austerity. Alongside this the Fair Funding review provides a once in a generation opportunity to fund all councils based on need not opaque and unfair formulae.
“Our new campaign, ‘A Fairer Future for Counties’ aims to put forward a clear and compelling case for additional funding for all councils and to create a brighter dawn for local government.”