Local authorities are in a precarious financial situation.
With a Government preoccupied with Brexit, elections and high-profile issues like NHS failures and the housing crisis, the urgent questions about future council resourcing remain unanswered.
Business rate retention policy is in limbo, the fair funding review and social care green paper have been pushed back, and the Revenue Support Grant is still on course to disappear by 2020.
Councils are facing a cliff-edge and need answers now. 2018 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
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 in February. 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
To support this work, we have a full schedule of work lined up, including:
February – State of Local Government Finance survey
Spring – Report: What is local government calling for?
Summer – Local Government Finance Scorecard: What are the options?
Autumn – Progress Update on Business Rate Retention pilots
But we can’t do this alone. We are building a group of stakeholders who are keen to help us maintain the momentum. Join our email stakeholder group for updates on our work and opportunities to get involved.