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Council services warning issued by LGA

04 July 2017

Councils are set to lose 75% of their funding by 2020 compared to 2015 levels, according to the Local Government Association (LGA), casting doubt on the delivery of "vital local services".

Speaking to local government leaders, councillors and ministers at the LGA conference in Birmingham yesterday, its chairman Lord Porter said councils should be a main priority for funding if "austerity is coming to an end".

Services such as waste collection, road maintenance, child protection and care for disabled and elderly people are all at risk, he said.

Lord Porter also stated a total of 168 councils - nearly half - will no longer receive any core central government funding by 2019/20.

Overall, councils will face a funding gap of £5.8bn by 2020 and the LGA is calling for urgent measures to address this.

They should be allowed to keep all tax revenue collected locally to spend on local services and "maximise the potential of local government".

Government plans for councils to keep the £26bn business rates collected are in now in doubt after the Local Government Finance Bill was not included in the recent Queen's Speech.

The LGA says a "fairer system" of funding distribution between councils is also required.

It is also calling for the cancellation of council tax referendum limits to allow councils and residents to decide how local services are paid for, not Whitehall, with no other national tax subject to referenda.

The Growing Places report has been published by the LGA, setting out how councils can create jobs and school places while delivering services and building affordable homes with fairer funding and freedom from central government.

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