Local authorities to use £1.9bn from reserves to fund services

Official figures have shown that councils are planning to use £1.9 billion of cash reserves in order to fund services for the next financial year.

The data found that councils have budgeted to spend nine per cent of their reserves between 2016-17. Adult social care service saw the biggest rise in expenditure, with local authorities set to invest an extra £308 million in services for the elderly and vulnerable.

The statistics identified that councils are also due to increase spending on children’s and families’ social care services by £136 million, with an extra £175 million to be spent on public health services.

Furthermore, partly due to the rise in academies, spend on education services will decrease by £765 million.

Communities secretary Greg Clark said: “At a time when local authorities are playing their part in paying down the deficit, more than £300 million extra will be invested this year to deliver high-quality adult social care services.

“Councils will have almost £200 billion to spend on services over the lifetime of this Parliament and I’m pleased the vast majority are also making use of new flexibilities to prioritise the services people really care about.”