Councils in England have seen their core funding from central government reduce by £15 billion in the last decade. In recent years, they have seen a rise in the number of short-term, ringfenced, small grants they receive annually from government departments and agencies.
Cllr Claire Kober, Chair of the Local Government Association's Resources Board, responded to the announcement in the Spring Budget that councils will receive £300 million to provide discretionary business rates relief
"Urgent clarity is needed on how the Government’s fundamental review of business rates will impact on reforms to allow local government to keep more of business rates income collected locally from next year."
Councils across the country are leading local efforts to support communities through the coronavirus crisis and keep day-to-day services running. This has led to significant unforeseen demands and costs caused by the pandemic – to protect the vulnerable such as older, disabled and homeless people - and in order to continue to keep normal services running, such as bin collections.
This is at the same time as councils have seen a large and immediate hit to their income. Many councils use income from fees and charges to fund a range of services, such as leisure and planning services, many of
Council employees have been offered an improved pay increase of 2.75 per cent from 1 April 2020, plus an additional one day’s leave which would increase the minimum entitlement from 21 to 22 days per year (plus public holidays).
Already stretched councils in England will see the core central government funding they use to pay for vital services like collecting bins, filling potholes, protecting children and caring for elderly and disabled people, cut in half over the next two years.