Countdown to 1st April 2020, when the central government grant to councils runs out and councils face a financial cliff-edge
Local authorities are in a precarious financial situation.
With a Government preoccupied with Brexit, the creaking NHS and the housing crisis, the urgent questions about future council resourcing remain unanswered.
Business rate retention policy has been scaled back and delayed, the fair funding review and social care green paper are long overdue, and all the while Revenue Support Grant is still on course to disappear by 2020.
Councils are facing a cliff-edge and need answers now. 2019 must be the year this happens.
LGiU is leading the Local Finance Taskforce, working with senior local government representatives and sector experts to raise the profile of these issues to a wider audience and force the Government to provide much-needed policy clarity.
- Ensure the issue stays at the top of the media agenda by working with stakeholders and bringing the issue to different audiences
- Lay out a road map for the future sustainability of local finance and spark debate about the best options
- Bring local government voices strongly into the debate by facilitating constructive conversations with Government that results in consensus moving forward
What are we calling for?
Senior councillors and officers are speaking with one voice on this issue, as demonstrated by the responses to our annual State of Local Government Finance survey. We asked them what they want to see from Government and they are calling for:
- A formal consultation on all the options for the future of local government funding
- A commitment to maintain a consistent level of funding for 3 years
- A commitment to cover costs to local government associated with future changes to business rate policies
- Clear vision for the future of adult social care and devolution, in order to facilitate forward planning and investment
How can you help?
Throughout 2018 we ran a packed programme of research and events to build momentum behind the national debate about the sustainability of council finances. This work included:
- the Local Government Finance Scorecard: What are the options?
- key Party Conference platforms to raise the profile of council funding
- Regional policy cafes with leaders and chief officers to discuss way forward
- a Pre-Autumn Statement campaign on key asks and proposed solutions
In 2019, we will be synthesising the findings from our research and discussions and presenting a roadmap for the future of local government funding in the run up to the Spending Review. In addition we launched our annual State of Local Government Finance Survey in February, which gained significant national media coverage.
1. Speak to the press: Share stories from your council about the human impact of ongoing financial uncertainty with your local and national media contacts, to help them explain the situation.
2. Host a regional roundtable: We are looking for councils to host our series of events on the solutions to the funding crisis. If you think you could help, contact Jennifer Glover.
3. Show your support: Spread the word about the challenges facing the sector to maintain the visibility of the issue and put pressure on Government by sending a simple tweet!
- Tweet your support using the template below
- Use the hashtag #FixCouncilFunding when sharing your own work or relevant news