How can the financial settlement meet its deadline?

By Michael Burton | 09 July 2019
  • Michael Burton

One does not envy the mandarins at the communities ministry. The clock is ticking on the countdown to publication of the financial settlement for 2020/21.

It was difficult enough last year. The number of variables needed to calculate the settlement rose from 78 in 2017/18 to 146 in 2018/19 while the number of civil servants working on local government finance fell from 115 to 100. The 2018 Hudson review into how the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) oversees local government finance recommended a date of 5 December for the provisional settlement and 31 January for the final one to give councils time to plan their budgets. The ministry duly agreed the 2019/20 settlement on 13 December, missing the deadline by a week.

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