A new report has highlighted 'serious concerns' over the future quality of neighbourhood services unless councils receive adequate funding in next spring's Spending Review.
The report by the Institute for Government and Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy found neighbourhood services such as road maintenance and waste management have sustained the deepest cuts to spending.
It read: 'Social care – for both children and adults – is the most costly element of local government activity.
'As demand for both has risen, spending on other services that local government runs – such as libraries, waste collection and trading standards – has been consistently squeezed.
'Non-social care spending now makes up only 46% of all local government spending - down from 55% in 2010/11.
'This creates obvious potential for public resentment.
'People paying local taxes think that they are paying for services available to everyone in the area, such as waste collection and libraries, but those universal services are being squeezed by social care - used only by a minority.'