With local government under financial pressure, Michael Fabricant has backed calls by the Local Government Association (LGA) for more certainty in future funding.
“Both counties and districts need to be able to budget in advance knowing what income they will receive from central Government. I have told Jeremy Hunt that I agree with the LGA in their call for more certainty. I know this is backed by Cllr Alan White, the Leader of Staffordshire County Council, and Cllr Doug Pullen, the Leader of Lichfield District Council in my meetings with them” says Michael. The LGA letter can be read HERE.
“In addition to speaking with Jeremy, the Chancellor, I have tabled a Parliamentary Written Question specifically asking: ‘What plans he has to (a) adopt a place-based approach in which funding is aligned with local needs and opportunities and (b) a return to multi-year settlements, giving medium term certainty and better value for residents as proposed by the Local Government Association in their letter of the 1st February.’
“Parliamentary Questions have to be answered promptly by the Chancellor though I do not expect a substantive reply until the budget on 15th March.
“Meanwhile, I have received today a letter from the Communities Secretary, Michael Gove regarding local government finance. He says there will be ‘available £5.1 billion in additional resources to help councils to help their communities through challenging times. The major parts of the settlement are as I announced in December. Local government delivers a broad range of services for all our communities. That is why we are supporting all tiers of local government through this settlement with a new, one-off Funding Guarantee that ensures all local authorities will see a minimum 3% increase in their Core Spending Power before taking any local decisions on raising council tax……. This settlement confirms our intention for referendum principles of up to 3% for core council tax and up to 2% for the adult social care precept in 2023/24 – significantly below headline rates of inflation. When taking decisions on council tax levels, I expect Councillors, mayors, police and crime commissioners and local councils to take into consideration the pressures many households are facing.’”
Further details of the Government settlement can be read HERE.