Magazine article Public Finance

Cash for Councils Ahead of Retention

Magazine article Public Finance

Cash for Councils Ahead of Retention

Article excerpt

The government will provide £150m in transitional support to councils in each of the next two years in response to concerns over changes to funding calculations.

Setting out the government's response to the consultation on the local government settlement, communities secretary Greg Clark also said councils would be given until 14 October to respond to an offer of four-year funding pacts.

Following the initial announcement in December, concerns were raised - by county authorities in particular - that changes to funding allocations could "all but end" the provision of non-statutory services in some parts of the country.

Clark acknowledged the first two years of the settlement - 2016/17 and 2017/18 - would be "the most pressing" for councils in the period to 2020, when business rates will be fully localised to authorities.

"I have agreed to the responses to the consultation, which recommended additional funding to ease the pace of reductions during the most difficult first two years of the settlement for councils with the sharpest reductions in revenue support grant," he stated.

An analysis by the Labour Party found a majority of the £300m transitional funding over two years would go to county authorities, mainly in the south of England. …

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