Four-year settlement unaltered by budget, Clark confirms

Communities secretary Greg Clark has confirmed the the government’s four-year financial settlement for local authorities will remain unaffected by this year’s Budget cuts.

The news comes as concerns were voiced questioning the affect the planned £3.5 billion cuts would have on public services. However, in a response letter from Clive Betts MP, chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee, Clark assured local councils would bot be affected by the cuts.

Betts, said: “Following the move to 100 per cent retention of business rates by 2020 and the multi-billion efficiency savings announced by the chancellor in his Budget, I’m pleased the secretary of state has confirmed that the four-year settlements for local councils are still valid.

“While local authorities will remain under considerable financial pressure, I welcomed the original announcement on four-year settlements and I’m pleased the secretary of state has now reaffirmed this deal."

However, Clark reiterated that he ‘cannot guarantee future levels of funding’ for councils which declined to submit an efficiency plan, thereby rejecting the four-year settlement. Full retention of business rates is expected to be implemented nationally from 2019/20.