LGA calls for ‘transitional support’ for councils

The Local Government Association (LGA) has called for transitional support for councils in light of recent funding changes.

According to the LGA, many councils fear reaching a ‘financial breaking point’ as a result of changes to the way funding will be allocated over the next few years, which could put local services under threat.

Council’s are preparing for the Revenue Support Grant to be phased out as a apart of the move to allow councils to keep 100 per cent of its business rates income.

While councils have long called for more control over business rates, the LGA is concerned that the speed at which changes are taking place has left some councils facing deeper cuts than expected in 2016/17 and claims that 168 councils could face losing all government funding by 2019/20.

The LGA has called on the government to prepare a plan of action for when councils are left with insufficient resources to run services, as well as smooth out its grant funding cuts over the next few years.

Sharon Taylor, LGA vice chair, said: "The pace at which government funding will be phased out over the next few years was hugely unexpected and is placing significant pressure on some councils and their local services already stretched to the limit by rising demand and years of growing funding pressures.

"Councils have been planning for further funding cuts in 2016/17 but some will have to find millions of pounds more in savings than they had planned for in even their worst-case scenarios next year.

"For some councils, this might push them closer to the financial edge. For many communities, things might get a lot worse before they might get better. It will be our residents who suffer as councils are forced to take tough decisions about which services have to be scaled back or stopped altogether to plug funding gaps over the next few years.”

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