Provisional Local Government Settlement – CCN Response

CCN Latest News, CCN News 2022 | 19 December 2022

Earlier today the government published the provisional local government settlement 2023/24 via a parliamentary written statement and via the DLUHC website. The statement comes following the publication of the local government finance policy statement last week, which outlined the approach to distributing resources for the next two financial year.

The provisional settlement outlines an average increase in Core Spending Power (CSP) of 9.2% nationally, which includes the presumption that all councils will levy the maximum increase in council tax permitted. Our calculations show that CCN member councils will collectively see a rise of 9.7% in Core Spending Power next year, however 12 CCN member councils are below the national average.

Below, the County Councils Network responds to the announcement;

Cllr Carl Les, CCN Finance Spokesperson said;

Given last week’s finance policy statement, this provisional settlement contains few surprises for councils. While CCN will now study the detail and respond to the consultation, confirmation that our member councils collective Core Spending Power will increase 9.7% is welcome. We particularly support the distribution of the additional adult social care funding and the government taking a proportionate approach to the equalisation of the social care precept.

However, with the services grant reducing more than expected and the repurposing of the lower tier services grant to fund the 3% guarantee, the overall level of resources is slightly below expectations for some of our member councils, with 12 of our member councils having CSP increases below the national average.

“The increase in resources will go a significant way to easing the financial pressures facing councils next year but CCN member councils still face very tough budget decisions next year. Moreover, achieving the maximum increase in CSP is reliant on councils raising council tax by 5%. Any council tax rise during the current cost of living crisis is a difficult choice but is one the majority of our councils will need to take to ensure they can maintain vital frontline services.”