Dr Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive of LGiU, said:
“This is a budget that will leave many in local government deeply anxious.
The Chancellor announced £3.5 billion extra cuts in public sector funding by the end of the parliament. It’s not clear where these cuts will fall but experience suggests they will hit local government either directly or through the knock on effects of cuts to welfare benefits.
Only two months ago local government was offered the “certainty” of a four year funding settlement, but that certainty already looks illusory.
Elsewhere, there was better news, with progress on three new devolution deals, but many of the deals we expected were not announced and it remains to be seen whether the Government’s somewhat secretive, deal-based approach to devolution will help or hinder it.”
Notes to editors
The Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) is a think tank and membership body with over 200 councils and other organisations subscribing to our networks. We work to strengthen local democracy and put citizens in control of their own lives, communities and local services. For more information, visit lgiu.org.
Our 2016 State of Local Government Finance survey found that nearly 90% of council will be forced to increase charges to balance their budgets this year. Nearly 40 per cent say their 2016/17 budget will lead to cuts in frontline services that are evident to the public. Further detail here.
Our Devolution Road Map outlines proposals to invert the current relationship between central and local government by creating a locally led process of devolution in England, which would strengthen local economies and improve public services.