Statement on Budget from Andy Sawford, Chief Executive of Local Democracy Think Tank LGiU:
“For most councils the big news today was that there isn’t much news. The course of the next four years has been set, councils are dealing with huge budget reductions, and nothing in today’s statement changes that for most areas. Some did receive a boost, particularly the 21 areas that will have Enterprise Zones. The benefits of this are clearly going to be very significant. Incentives for businesses, such as rate relief and simplified planning rules, combined with incentives for councils to promote growth, such as getting the proceeds from growth in business rates, could make a real difference. In the new era of localism though why is the government picking winners by restricting these benefits to just a few favoured councils, rather than opening them up to all.”
“Other nods to local government included the already announced £100 million for potholes, and the deal between central and local government to prevent council tax rises. Local government will take any extra resources it gets, but these populist bungs reinforce a narrow view of what local government is about, and its future. Where for example was the commitment to new approaches, such as community budgets?”
If you would like any further information please contact the LGiU’s Public Affairs Manager Dan Garfield on 0207 554 2803; or via mobile on 07825 745 625. The full budget document can be viewed here.