Last week the Local Government Association revealed that almost half of all councils – 168 councils – will no longer receive any Revenue Support Grant funding next year. The LGA is calling on the Chancellor to use the Autumn Budget to tackle the immediate funding crisis for local government.
As it stands, the main government grant funding for local services is set to be cut by £1.3 billion (36 per cent) in 2019/20. This is despite many councils already struggling to balance their books.
Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the LGA’s Resources Board, said:
“Unprecedented funding pressures and demand for adult and children’s social care and homelessness services is pushing councils to the limit. As a result less money is being spent on the other services that keep our communities running such as libraries, local roads, early intervention and local welfare support.
“Losing a further £1.3 billion of central government funding at this time is going to tip many councils over the edge. Many local authorities will reach the point where they only have the funds to provide statutory responsibilities and it will be our local communities and economies who will suffer the consequences.
Locally, our Tory run East Sussex County Council, in order to avoid following Northamptonshire into bankruptcy, have already agreed this year to restrict our services to the most vulnerable residents only. Under this “core offer”, many of our services will now be severely cut or shut down completely. So come the Autumn budget, what else will there be left to cut?
We await Budget Day with much trepidation. Theresa May may have announced, at Tory Party Conference, that the end of austerity is in sight, but Philip Hammond did not give this indication in his speech at all. And meanwhile austerity cuts that have already been implemented will not be rolled back, and the cuts already in the pipeline are yet to have an impact on our services and on those who need them.
The Eastbourne People’s Assembly Against Austerity (supported by our CLP/see in Campaigns section) is currently running a Campaign against the ESCC cuts to Adult and Children’s Services. They are next meeting on 16th October @ 6pm at: The Embrace Centre, Suites 1&2 The Undercroft: 20 Wharf Rd, Eastbourne BN21 3AW
All are welcome to join in with the campaign.