Local Finance Scorecard reveals broad range of funding options post 2020
LGiU’s Local Finance Taskforce opens consultation on ways forward
Today, the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) launches the Local Finance Scorecard to kickstart a wider debate on the big ideas for local government finance and funding post 2020.
The Scorecard, as part of the LGiU’s Local Finance Taskforce (supported by members), outlines some of the options for reforming local government finance that are not currently on the table for consideration by the Government. The report provides an overview of each option along with their advantages and disadvantages, who it would benefit most and how politically and technically difficult it is. Each option has a score based on feasibility and impact.
The Scorecard formally opens LGiU’s Local Finance Taskforce consultation on funding options post 2020 as we call for the debate to be broadened across Government and amongst key stakeholders. Over the summer and autumn, the Local Finance Taskforce will be engaging with LGiU’s 200 member councils and other stakeholders through regional roundtables and events to refine and deepen this thinking with a final report and set of recommendations produced ahead of the Autumn Budget.
The Local Finance Taskforce launched in February 2018 to lay out a road map for the future sustainability of local finance by bringing local government voices strongly into the debate and facilitating constructive conversations with Government. The Taskforce has already called on the Government to provide 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 and a clear vision for the future of adult social care and devolution, in order to facilitate forward planning and investment.
Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive of LGiU, said: “Confidence in the local government finance system is low. Every year we survey Council Leaders, Chief Executives, Cabinet Members for Finance and Chief Finance Officers. In 2018, eight out of ten of them told us that the local government finance system in its current form was unsustainable.
Important changes are happening. Business Rate Retention and the Fairer Funding Review are significant steps towards reforming local government finance; but we believe that to achieve a sustainable system we need a much broader and more radical conversation post 2020.
It is for this reason that we have today launched our Local Finance Scorecard, the key options for rebooting local government finance. These options all have advantages and disadvantages but they all need to be part of the discussion.”
Notes to editors
The Local Finance Taskforce launched in February 2018 with support from LGiU members. Further detail on the Taskforce’s work is available here.
In February 2018, as part of the LGiU’s Annual State of Local Government Finance report, the LGiU released the results of annual survey of Chief Executives, Leaders, Cabinet Members for Finance and Chief Finance Officers. Key results included:
– 8 in 10 councils lack confidence in the sustainability of local government finance – no movement from last year.
– Community services face further cuts: Despite three quarters of councils managing to sustain the quality of the frontline services over the past year, evidence suggests that their 2018/19 budgets will see activity further reduced in several key community services including parks and leisure (53% of councils), adult social care (40%) and youth centres (34%).
– Children’s Services is now the top immediate pressure for councils, above Adult Social Care for the first time in at least three years, suggesting that councils are no longer able to shield these services from the worst of the ongoing budget cuts. Adult Social Care remains the top longterm pressure for councils, followed by Housing and Homelessness.
Further detail available here.
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.