Streamline local government under plans to save £30bn a year, think-tank argues

By Laura Sharman | 21 October 2020

Streamlining local government and selling off high-value council properties could save billions every year, according to a think-tank.

A new report from the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) claimed the Government could save at least £30bn a year without affecting frontline services.

The nine proposals include selling high-value council properties as soon as they become vacant, using part of the receipts to pay for a local replacement, which the report estimates would generate £1.5bn a year in savings.

CPS also argued that pushing local government to streamline its functions and its administrative costs would save £1bn a year.

The report urged the Government to publish league tables on administrative costs in local authorities to help reinforce this.

It read: 'Too often the egos of local politicians can get in the way of working between council functions.

'We therefore propose that the Government should encourage greater sharing of functions and could even facilitate the pooling of services or procurement across multiple councils in order to generate savings.

’It should also consider greater monitoring of the non-frontline costs of councils and publishing this data centrally to help push councils towards greater use of shared services and procurement.

'Doing this can help deliver the savings from full unitarisation without the costs.’

Head of policy at the CPS, Alex Morton, said: ‘This package of savings is simultaneously radical but realistic – delivering better value for money for voters and allowing the Government to continue funding its priorities.'

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