The State of Local Government Finance in England 2023

The Local Democracy Research Centre is carrying out a major research project investigating the state of local government finance in England. Building a clear picture of the situation within councils is vital for understanding the capacity local government has to deliver essential services, the pressures faced by staff, and the truth behind the spending decisions councils have to make.

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Survey results, member event and next steps

Results of the 2023 state of local government finance survey

To better understand the true picture of council finances in England, the Local Democracy Research Centre surveyed chief executives, directors of finance, and council leaders and cabinet members on topics related to local government finance, including:

  • the sustainability of local government finance;
  • steps councils are taking to balance their budgets;
  • the state of local services;
  • the future of local government finance.

Read the report

Ask the experts - LGIU member-only session to discuss survey results

Join our experts from the Local Democracy Research Centre for an exclusive briefing on the results of our state of local government finance survey for 2023. LGIU members will get an inside perspective on what the results mean for the sector and how the government’s March budget will impact local government.

This is an opportunity to connect with other LGIU member councils and share your views as well as directly feed in to the LDRC’s research. This event is online 22nd March 10:00-11:00. Reserve your place on this member-only event.

The next stage of our research

We are now moving into the second stage of our research into local government finance in England. Following our survey, the LDRC will be conducting a series of interviews with local government financial decision-makers.

Using these interviews we will construct a detailed picture of local government finance in 2023, going beyond the statistics to understand the experiences of the people responsible for local government finance. For more information about this stage of the research and to be involved please contact Greg Stride.

Local government finance

Council Tax – happy 30th anniversary or time for a change?

Ahead of the annual setting of council tax rates and in light of the 30th anniversary of the introduction of council tax in the UK, Michael Orton from the University of Warwick discusses the various options for updating the UK’s council tax system while evaluating the pros and cons of each. Read this article.

LGIU Training - local government finance curriculum

LGIU Training now offers a ready-made local government finance curriculum that covers key aspects of this huge and complex subject area. The curriculum comprises three sessions: an introduction to local government finance; the big three financial reports; and budget setting. Participants will receive an LGIU certificate of completion after their final session. Find out more and book your sessions.

The state of local government finance: return of the annual survey

The LGIU finance survey returned in 2023 after a two-year break. In this article Greg Stride highlights the trends and lessons of past surveys and outlines how we’ll be working with local government to understand the current situation and support members as part of our ongoing finance project. Read this article.

Press release: State of Local Government Finance 2023

This press release, launching the 2023 State of local government finance  survey results report provides a detailed summary of the key findings from the survey. Read the full press release.

Previous local government finance survey reports

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