District councils respond to Comprehensive Spending Review announcement
Responding to the Chancellor’s announcement that a one-year Comprehensive Spending Review will take place at the end of November, Cllr Sharon Taylor, District Councils’ Network Lead Member for Sustainable Finance and Workforce, said:
“We are pleased the Government has signalled its intention to give vital public services enhanced support during the fight against coronavirus, which has created huge financial challenges for councils on top of the severe funding cuts they have faced in previous years.
“District councils have also been hardest hit by plummeting income caused by COVID-19.
“It is however disappointing to see a one-year rather than three-year settlement. It will also come too late for districts setting their budgets now, who will be doing so in the dark, with many almost certainly having to look to make further cuts.
“The Government needs to give councils long-term financial certainty and commit to fully compensating councils for costs relating to COVID-19 not just in 2020/21 but in the years ahead.
“District councils are crucial for driving an economic recovery in their strategic role delivering services such as planning and housing, and due to their intimate knowledge of local businesses and economies.
“This is why councils need a comprehensive multi-year settlement, which will enable them to continue tackling the most important frontline issues such as reducing homelessness, collecting waste, keeping leisure services running, and growing the local economy, throughout and beyond COVID-19.”
Notes to editors
The District Councils’ Network (DCN) is a cross-party member led network providing a single voice to 187 district councils. District councils in England deliver 86 out of 137 essential local government services to over 22 million people – 40 per cent of the population – and cover 68 per cent of the country by area. They play a key role in local communities, providing services such as building homes, collecting waste, regenerating town centres, preventing homelessness, keeping streets clean and maintaining parks.