Councils warn of £2.5bn ‘threat’ to services

By William Eichler | 04 October 2022

Two-thirds of surveyed councils said they either faced a ‘threat’ to or ‘extreme pressure’ on key service delivery over the next financial year, a poll has revealed.

Survey data published by the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities (SIGOMA) showed members predicting an average inflationary pressure of £21.4m in 2023-24, which would amount to more than £1bn across its network.

For 2024-25, SIGOMA members predicted a slightly higher average pressure of £23.8m – £1.1bn across the network of 47 councils.

The overall pressure for members in the period covered by the survey was £2.5bn – £17.7m per council per year.

SIGOMA chair Sir Stephen Houghton said: ‘Our members are telling us that the threat to the key services that residents rely on is very real while many regeneration projects - central to levelling up - are already being curtailed if not cancelled outright.

‘The talk of further cuts to local government is extremely worrying – we know that it is the poorest in our communities who rely most on our services.’

He continued: ‘Our members predict that inflationary pressure will wipe more than £1bn off our budgets in real terms in each of the next two years – this following a decade of austerity and the Covid pandemic - both of which hit the most deprived areas hardest.

‘There are no meaningful efficiencies left and our preventative services have been cut to the bone.

'To stop a winter of extremely difficult decisions, the Government needs to act now to provide urgent support to the sector.’

comments powered by Disqus
Austerity Funding Cuts Levelling up