We are launching the Local Finance Taskforce today, a local authority-led project to raise the profile of council funding issues to a wider audience and force the Government to provide much-needed policy clarity – and we need your help!
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.
The work of the Local Finance Taskforce will be led by our online stakeholder group of local government representatives and sector experts. It will raise the profile of these issues to a wider audience and force the Government to provide much-needed policy clarity.
What are we calling for?
Senior councillors and officers are speaking with one voice on this issue. In our State of Local Government Finance survey 2018 we asked them what they want to see from Government. They agreed on four key demands:
- 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?
Building on the momentum of our State of Local Government Finance survey in February, which has sparked an ongoing national debate about the sustainability of council finances, we have a packed programme in the run-up to the Autumn Statement. Our main pieces of work will include:
- the Local Government Finance Scorecard: What are the options?
- a progress update on the Business Rate Retention pilots
- key Party Conference platforms to raise the profile of council funding
- Regional policy cafes to discuss way forward
- a Pre-Autumn Statement campaign on key asks and proposed solutions
1. Feed into our research: We will need your input as we develop these projects so get in touch with us! We will email you, our Local Finance Taskforce Stakeholders, with questions, ideas and for case studies over the course of the year but please continue to keep us in the loop about what is happening in your area.
2. 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.
3. Host a regional roundtable: We will be looking for places to host our series of events later in the year on the solutions to the funding crisis. If you think you could help, contact Jennifer Glover.
4. 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
To get involved with the work of the Local Finance Taskforce, join the online stakeholder group. We’ll be using this group to help us direct this work. Members can be as involved as they like – from responding to calls for evidence and spreading the message to just keeping up-to-date.