LGA responds to Tough Times Report

Published on Wednesday, 21 November 2012 10:58
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

Responding to the release of the Audit Commission's Tough Times 2012 report, Sir Merrick Cockell, LGA Chairman, said:

"The report shows that councils are doing an outstanding job in extremely difficult circumstances but the strain of the 28 per cent cut in funding is undoubtedly starting to show across all service areas.

"Residents will have already noticed the effect of less money being available for some of the most cherished local services, such as libraries, leisure centres, after school programmes and road maintenance. This report shows that now that councils have delivered efficiency savings, scaled back discretionary services and downsized the workforce by 230,000 posts the cuts are starting to have a significant negative impact on the previously protected area of social care.

"As our own Funding Outlook report showed earlier in the year, council services are in an increasingly precarious position as the triple pressures of cuts to funding, increased risks to council revenues over coming years, and the rising cost of delivering adult social care take hold. Until the crisis in adult social care funding is resolved other services will continue to fall by the wayside and safety-net reserves will dwindle away.

"Councils are the most efficient part of the public sector and have seen their budgets cut by more than almost any other part of the public sector. With austerity set to continue into the next comprehensive spending review period it is now time for others to do the heavy lifting. Cuts on a similar scale beyond 2015 will put councils in an invidious position, reducing their ability to deliver core services and undermining the vital role they play in supporting local businesses and fostering economic growth."

Source: ©LGA

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