“Counties face difficult choices around whether to raise council tax”

CCN News 2015 | 22 January 2015

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Following the early findings from LGC’s Council Tax Tracker research, CCN Director Simon Edwards describes the financial conditions facing counties that mean some are considering council tax raises, quoted in the Times and LGC.

Simon Edwards, Director, CCN stated in response to the LGC Council Tax Tracker research findings: 

“Counties face difficult choices around whether to raise council tax to maintain essential services residents rely on, implement new duties and continue to support local economies.

Some Counties are considering raising their council tax as they are experiencing the perfect storm of substantial cuts to their core grant at a time increasing demand for their services and significant new duties under the Care Act. When pooled budgets – where much of the spending is out of the council’s control – are taken out of their spending power, Counties are looking at just under a 4% reduction to their spending power from the latest Local Government Finance Settlement. This, on top of the 40% reduction counties have already experienced, is pushing Counties to the brink.

While Counties have played their part in reducing the deficit, to continue this process we need to radically reform the way local government services are funded. Alongside the basic freedom to set council tax locally, we need a comprehensive County Devolution settlement and a review of local government finance across the board”

Covered in the Times and LGC .