Responding to the Spring Statement 2019, Cllr Peter John OBE, Chair of London Councils, said:
“The Chancellor has announced his plans for the next Spending Review, which will cover three years – subject to a Brexit deal being agreed. If it does go ahead, the Spending Review will determine the overall amount of funding councils will receive from 2020 onwards. This is an important opportunity for the government to genuinely end austerity and invest in local public services that play a vital role in communities up and down the country. London Councils will not be shy about making our case.
“Local government is currently in a precarious position and our services are under incredible strain. London boroughs have had a 63% reduction to core funding during this decade, yet we are supporting almost a million more people, including 48% more children with special educational needs and disabilities and almost 70% of the national total number of homeless families. Continued uncertainty surrounding Brexit only compounds these challenges.
“If councils are to create thriving communities and provide important services such as children's social care, road repairs and bin collections, we need a long-term plan for our future grounded in greater investment, reform and devolution.
“It is also worth noting that publishing the Spending Review in the autumn means that councils will have no certainty over their funding until December – giving councils a matter of weeks to plan their budgets for 2020/21.
“Councils will now have to set medium term financial plans with an unmanageable level of uncertainty over the level of funding they will receive.”
Notes to Editors:
Read about London Councils’ Spending Review campaign here: www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/investing