Final Local Government Finance Settlement: CCN response

CCN Latest News, CCN News 2019 | 05 February 2019

Today the Secretary of State will present the final Local Government Finance Settlement to the House of Commons, for a Parliamentary vote.

The County Councils Network has written a briefing for MPs and stakeholders on the key issues within the settlement, as well as our key pieces of advocacy looking ahead to the Fair Funding Review. You can download that briefing here.

Below, you can read our statement on the settlement ahead of the vote later this afternoon.

Cllr Paul Carter, chairman of the County Councils Network, said:

“This year’s Local Government Finance Settlement comes at a hugely challenging time for councils, but for first time in many years, today’s announcement confirms that the government has recognised short-term pressures facing local government.

“Whilst today’s settlement contains vital short-term support, tough decisions will still need to be made and our members will have little choice but to raise council tax to meet demand-led pressures in services

“Looking ahead, we should be under no illusions of the scale of the challenge facing county authorities, with the long-term future of councils dependent on whether we receive sustainable and fairer funding from 2020 onwards.

“I am encouraged by the government’s Fair Funding Review, currently out for consultation as it indicates an approach that is as simple as possible, transparent, needs-led, evidence based and potentially fair.

“However, compromise and pragmatism on all sides of the local government sector, will be necessary. We must now focus on the big cost drivers – children’s services and adult social care and in particular on adult learning disability within social care, which in many shire authorities is becoming the largest component part of our budget.

We await with interest more detail on the formula for people-based services which account for 75% of our budgets –  and rising.”