“Almost all councils in England plan to increase council tax from April and three-quarters intend to raise it above 2.75%, research reveals. Most councils have also warned they will still be reducing a range of services, from adult social care to libraries and recycling, while raising charges and fees.
The Local Government Information Unit thinktank says eight years of austerity have cost English councils 40% of their central funding. Last week Somerset and Northamptonshire county councils reversed winter gritting cuts amid outcry when untreated roads caused car accidents, while unrepaired potholes and cuts to libraries have grated with residents.
“Years of chronic underfunding has left local government on life support,” said the chief executive of the thinktank, Dr Jonathan Carr-West. The local government ministry says councils are to receive an extra £1bn in the coming year.”