Knight welcomes extra cash for local councils

Julian Knight MP has welcomed the news that ministers are offering local authorities a Christmas cash boost to support essential services.

The provisional local government finance settlement, published last week, gives councils a real-terms increase in core spending power for 2019 to 2020 – up from £45.1 billion to £46.4 billion. This brings the level of local government funding to more than £200 billion in the five years to 2020.

As a result, local government leaders will be able to protect local services without having to impose unfair increases on hard-pressed council tax payers. In Solihull this means a boost of ‘core spending power’ from £146 million to £150 million, a 2.4 per cent rise.

This increase follows significant Government investment in local services announced at this year’s Budget. The Government is giving councils £650 million for social care next year - building on the £240 million announced to relieve winter pressures on the NHS, £420 million to tackle potholes and £84 million more for children’s social care.

Finally, ministers are giving councils even more incentive to nurture the local economy by increasing business rates retention to 75 per cent from 2020.

Speaking after the announcement, Julian said:

“This is a very welcome Christmas gift from the Government, and I’m sure it will be very reassuring to the many local people who contact my office with queries or concerns about local services.”