DCN CALLS FOR MORE FREEDOMS AND FUNDING REASSURANCE IN SUBMISSION TO AUTUMN BUDGET
Following the DCN’s submission to the Autumn Budget, DCN Finance Lead Cllr Sharon Taylor said:
“Districts are now facing increasingly stark funding challenges that threaten the vital services their communities rely on. This is a critical Budget for district councils who now need long-term financial reassurance and greater freedoms and reward.
“Districts have punched above their weight in terms of savings made through shared services but have also faced the biggest reduction in their spending power since 2015 compared to other types of councils.
“This steady decline must be reversed, through the Fair Funding Review and greater flexibilities for districts to tackle unfairness in the system and an increase in spending power in the next spending review period.
“This means councils should be able to set their own level of council tax without the need for costly referendums; lift the borrowing cap for councils with housing stock; have greater flexibility on Right to Buy receipts with the New Homes Bonus baseline scrapped; and be allowed to recover the full costs of services and set all licensing and planning fees locally.
“Districts should also be allowed to set a 3 per cent prevention precept which could generate £42 million in 2019/20 to build on their successful work reducing demand on crisis-hit adult social care and the NHS.
“This Budget is a vital opportunity to recognise district councils for delivering better lives and stronger economies by encouraging growth and recognising that Districts cannot continue to provide essential local services without sufficient and sustainable funding.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
DCN’s full submission to the Autumn Budget can be read here.
District Councils’ Network media office, 020 7664 3333