Final local government finance settlement: CCN responds

CCN Latest News, CCN News 2020 | 06 February 2020

Today the government has published the the final local government finance settlement, ahead of a Parliamentary vote on the settlement next week.

The settlement lays out much of what was included in the provisional settlement, but the Secretary of State’s written statement today confirms that a review of the New Homes Bonus policy will take place this Spring.

This is something the County Councils Network has called for, and the network responds below.

Cllr Carl Les, County Councils Network finance spokesperson, and leader of North Yorkshire County Council, said:

“The County Councils Network has long argued for reform to the New Homes Bonus, so today’s statement from the Secretary of State that the policy will be reviewed in Spring, is welcome.

“There is little evidence that the bonus incentivises housebuilding, and at a time when local authorities are facing huge financial challenges, it has led to an unfair distribution of resources across council types and regions.

“Reform should be focused on reviewing the role of incentives so they better reward upper-tier councils’ crucial role in providing infrastructure that compliments new development, ensuring they are sustainable and viable.

“Today’s settlement will enshrine the added resource made available to councils, if approved by MPs next week. This funding will help us over the hill and down the other side this year – but there is still a pressing need for long-term and fairer funding for county areas.”