“The funding black hole for county authorities will treble to £2.54bn in just four years’ time, according to the County Councils Network (CCN).
In an analysis prepared for the network’s autumn budget submission, it found that each county on average will face an additional average funding gap of £70m by 2021, on top of planned service reductions.
Social care accounts for £26m of this per authority, and £22m in implementing the new national living wage. Paul Carter, CCN chairman, said: “We are reaching a point where we are have to consider difficult, painful and unpopular decisions next year to deliver balanced budgets, which will reduce and remove frontline services highly valued by our residents. The government has said it is in listening mode, and I and my fellow county leaders, will be asking ministers across government that we need additional help and support in this budget or we will all face some very severe consequences in the future. The situation can’t go on.”