LGA responds to Audit Commission report on the financial stability of councils

Published on Thursday, 17 November 2011 11:21
Posted by Scott Buckler

Responding to the findings of the Audit Commission report on the financial stability of councils, Sir Merrick Cockell, Chairman of the Local Government Association (LGA), said

"Local government is one of the most trusted, open and accountable parts of the public sector. Every day, people depend on councils to provide the vital services that make a real and lasting difference to their lives. Despite the current budgetary constraints facing local authorities, they have shown sound and disciplined financial management and planning which has enabled them to make efficiency savings. However, they have also had to take some tough decisions and have shown leadership by protecting the services that some of the most vulnerable people rely on, such as adult social care.

"Maintaining reserves is part of a prudent financial management strategy. Money in reserves can only be spent once and cannot be considered a long-term solution to the unprecedented funding reductions councils are currently facing. That is why councils are managing and planning their budgets prudently and effectively and within their means, rather than raiding the kitty in the short term and then suffering the consequences in the longer term. Some reserves are being used to fund efficiencies which will lead to greater savings and better service delivery in future years, showing foresight and clarity rather than short-term gain for future pain."

 

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