Local councils in England are facing a 2.9pc cut in overall government funding for 2014/15, it has been announced.

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The figure, announced by local government minister Brandon Lewis in a written statement to the House of Commons, does not include the Greater London Authority.

Mr Lewis said that it should leave councils with “considerable total spending power” of £2,089 per dwelling and give them the stability and certainty needed to plan budgets and “move ahead with transforming local services and ongoing efficiency”.

He also announced that Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles and Chancellor George Osborne have agreed measures to allay council concerns that central government support for council tax freezes might be withdrawn on a “cliff edge” basis in future years.

Mr Lewis said: “English local government accounts for £1 of every £4 spent on public services, and is expected to spend some £117 billion in 2013-14. So the settlement that we are proposing recognises the responsibility of local government to find sensible savings and make better use of its resources.

“This settlement marks the second year of business rates retention, and leaves councils with considerable total spending power, with an overall reduction, excluding the Greater London Authority, for next year of just 2.9% We expect the average spending power per dwelling to be some £2,089.”

He added: “We have tried to be fair to every part of the country - north and south, rural and urban, metropolitan and shire.

“Of course, it is inevitable that individual local councils will wish to call for more funding for their area. Unlike the old system which encouraged councils to talk down their local areas to win more funding, the decentralisation of local government finance now puts councils in the driving seat: rewarding them for supporting local enterprise, building more homes and backing local jobs.”

Explaining the measures being taken to ensure that the council tax freeze does not destabilise local government finances, Mr Lewis said: “From April 2014, funding for 2011/12 and 2013/14 freezes is now in the main local government settlement total for future years.

“I can also announce that the Secretary of State has agreed with the Chancellor that the funding for the next two freeze years will also be built into the spending review baseline. We hope this will give maximum possible certainty for councils that the extra funding for freezing council tax will remain available, and there will not be a ‘cliff edge’ effect from the freeze grant disappearing in due course.

“We have done our part - we now expect councils to do theirs in helping hard-working people with the cost of living.”

5 comments

  • Did you get an invite to any of them Sweet Cheeks? No, me neither!

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    alecto

    Thursday, December 19, 2013

  • The money has run out. Simple as that.

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    BG

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • NCC could do more with our road repairs if they didn't waste our money on hare brained ideas and back room services. I wonder how many Christmas parties we are paying for at NCC?

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    Sweet cheeks

    Thursday, December 19, 2013

  • NCC is spending 26 million between now and next year to update their IT equipment. New tablets, computers and software systems for our councillors and officers. Except, the now redundant laptops and other equipment rae less than 5 years old. So we have money for new brand gizmo's, but we have no money to compensate CW for doing.....eh,... nothing at all. 26 million on new equipment rather than on children services, or on sea defences, or or or. Bye bye Brendan, you will be remebered for your cuts regime.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • A good example is that there never seems to be any money for road repairs,it's like driving on a testbed for testing suspension on military vehicles in Norfolk these days! One councillor is going on about 20 MPH limits but the roads are so bad you have to slow down anyway! One thing is certain,councillors will fight tooth and nail to keep their featherbedded little empires intact,while around them the infrastructure crumbles due to "necessary cuts" The first rule of politics is" to thine own self be true" just remember this when these people are hassling you for votes,never to be seen again if they get elected!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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