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Tuesday, 9th December 2014

UK: The Impact of Funding Reductions on Local Authorities

Source: National Audit Office (UK)

From Press Release:

Local authorities have coped well with reductions in government funding, but some groups of authorities are showing clear signs of financial stress. The Department for Communities and Local Government has a limited understanding of authorities’ financial sustainability and the impacts of funding cuts on services, according to the National Audit Office.

The Government will reduce its funding to local authorities by an estimated 28% in real terms between 2010-11 and 2014-15. Further planned cuts will bring the total reduction to 37% by 2015-16, excluding the Better Care Fund and public health grant. Although there have been no financial failures in local authorities in this period, a survey of local auditors shows that authorities are showing signs of financial pressure. Over a quarter of single tier and county councils (those authorities responsible for social care and education) had to make unplanned reductions in service spend to deliver their 2013-14 budgets. Auditors are increasingly concerned about local authorities’ capacity to make further savings, with 52% of single tier and county councils not being well-placed to deliver their medium-term financial plans.

There are significant differences in the scale of funding reductions faced by different authorities. Authorities that depend most on government grant are the ones most affected by funding reductions and reforms. This was an outcome of policy decisions to tackle the fiscal deficit by reducing public spending, and for local authority funding to offer incentives for growth.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »



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