Planning amid the certainty of uncertainty

17 July 2019

As local government heads towards what seems more and more likely to be a funding patch for 2020/21, it is perhaps time to reflect on the huge role local government has to play in an uncertain world. Having borne the brunt of austerity for the last 10 years, some local authorities are hanging on by their fingertips, hoping they can keep children’s and adults demand pressures under control, while trying to be creative in using one-off central Government funding – which could dry up from next year.

Finance directors and their management teams up and down the land have been working minor miracles in signing off balanced budgets over the last 10 years. Up until now there has been some certainty over the level of grants each local authority will receive, however we are now entering new territory where so called ‘one-off’ funding streams are coming to an end at the same time as there is radio silence on the Spending Review for 2020/21. The fair funding review is surely now so far behind schedule it has dwindling hope of being implemented from next April.

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