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Council leaders urge Chancellor to end 'shoestring' funding for local government

Agnes Chambre

2 min read

Council leaders have piled more pressure on Philip Hammond as they demanded to be front of the queue for any extra public spending. 

The Local Government Association said town halls faced a £5.8bn funding gap by the end of the decade.

The Chancellor has been facing calls for extra spending since the Conservatives lost seats at the election.

Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Michael Fallon, Chris Grayling and Jeremy Hunt have all suggested the 1% cap on public sector pay rises should be lifted.

Lord Porter, the chairman of the Local Government Association, will argue for greater support for councils later today, as he claims 75% of central funding is to be cut by 2020.

He will say that local government can no longer be expected to run “vital local services on a shoestring”.

The LGA is calling for local services to be protected from further cuts and for councils to be able to keep every penny they raise locally in taxation to spend on local services.

The group also wants the Government to scrap the requirement for councils to hold local referendums when they want to raise council tax by more than 5%.  

Conservative peer Lord Porter will tell the LGA conference: “Councils can no longer be expected to run our vital local services on a shoestring.

“We must shout from the roof tops for local government to be put back on a sustainable financial footing.

“Local government is the fabric of our country, even more so during this period of uncertainty for the nation.

“Councils are the ones who can be trusted to make a difference to people’s lives. To build desperately-needed homes, create jobs and school places, provide the dignified care for our elderly and disabled and boost economic growth.”

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