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Council spending drops by 32% since 2010

Council spending has fallen by almost a third since 2010, with housing and planning suffering the biggest losses.

Figures released today (20 July) by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) show that local authority per capita budgets in England decreased by 32%, adjusted for inflation.

Housing alone saw a drop of almost 10% in its budget, followed by planning and development down by 9.8%.

Several other services also experienced moderate spending cuts, including adult social care (2%), education (2.4%), cultural services (4.5%) and children’s social care (0.4%).

The only rising funding was for highways and transport, up by 2.2% but with most investment focused in London and the south east.

CIPFA chief executive, Rob Whiteman, said: “To survive in this tough economic climate, it’s absolutely right for councils to have a rigorous focus on value for money and work more effectively with the wider public sector to deliver savings for taxpayers and better outcomes for local communities.

“That’s why we believe there needs to be substantial reforms to our systems of public financial management with greater alignment of local public services, and for the government to budget for the medium to long term if public services are to be sustainable over the next decade.”

In February, PSE published a comment piece by Whiteman in which he called for “an independent body to be set up to allocate local authority funding in a fair, evidence-based and transparent way”. This came after the government declared spending power for local bodies would only fall by 1.8% in 2015-16, despite calculations proving that it could actually reduce by 14.6% in some areas, depending on the definition used.


John Hull   20/07/2015 at 14:48

No mention of Trading Standards, which has had over 50% budget cuts across the country in the last few years. Don't expect checks on the safety of toys, children's clothing, electrical or gas appliances as a matter of course. No-one has the budget to do that anymore. Weights and Measures checks, are now almost entirely in the hands of the large corporations. False descriptions? who knows, no-body checks, unless there have been lots of complaints. Rabies is now a matter of when, not if, as local authorities don't have the staff to maintain border checks.

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