Council cut in spending power says analysis

It has been found the impact on council budgets could be more than three times more severe.

CIPFA’s figures, produced in association with Pixel Financial Management, excluded areas of spending that are ring-fenced for specific purposes or are already part of pooled budgets with the NHS, such as the Better Care Fund.

Once these funds are set aside, council spending power is set to fall most in London, where there will be an 8 per cent decline, and by 7.8 per cent in the North East. Councils in the South East will see their spending power eroded by 3.4 per cent, according to CIPFA’s assessment.

CIPFA Chief executive Rob Whiteman said the difference between what was presented by the government and the cash cuts faced by local councils is stark. “It demonstrates why we urgently need transparency about government funding instead of this continued conflation and inflation spending, which hides the true size and scope of the cuts many local authorities face.”

“The figures presented by the government also appear to hide the true impact of cuts upon some local authorities. Once you peer behind the opaque measurement of funding used today, you see that the disparity of impact across the country and between different types of authority is significant and needs to be considered carefully by policymakers.”

Although council spending power per head remains higher in more deprived parts of the country, CIPFA said the gap continues to narrow as funding cuts are falling most heavily upon areas with the greatest need.

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