“Councils are facing the biggest cuts to government funding since 2010 despite unprecedented pressure and demand, which could risk “tipping many over the edge”, local authorities have warned.
Figures show that the revenue support grant – the main source of government funding for local services – will be cut by 36 per cent next year, marking the largest annual deduction in almost a decade.
It comes despite repeated warnings that continuing cuts to vital local authority provisions mean vulnerable people, such as the elderly, at-risk children and homeless people, are being left to “fend for themselves”.
An analysis by the Local Government Association (LGA) reveals that, overall, councils will have suffered a 77 per cent decrease in the government funding between 2015/16 and next year, dropping from £9,927m in 2015-16 to £2,284m in 2019-20.
Almost half of all councils (168) will receive no support grant next year – marking a threefold rise on this year and a more than tenfold increase on 2017/18, the figures show.
The government claimed its funding settlement gave a real terms increase in resources for local government in 2018-19 and said new “business rate pilots” would mean councils retain £1.8bn.
But council leaders said this would not substitute for adequately funded services, and warned that they were increasingly unable to provide dignified care for the elderly and disabled, protect children and build much-needed homes.
Official figures published last week showed government spending on children at risk of neglect or abuse had been slashed by 26 per cent over the past five years, while spending on children’s centres dropped by 42 per cent.
Separate data shows that the number of older people who are not getting the care and support they need from local authorities has hit a record high, with one in seven now living with some level of unmet need – marking a 19 per cent increase since 2015.”