Rising to meet the new risks

By Andrew Jepp | 13 April 2015

The Chancellor’s Budget produced a number of mixed messages for local government. Momentum towards greater devolving of powers to local government is offset by the knowledge that local government is facing yet more cuts.

Undoubtedly, the news that the Office of Budget Responsibility has revised its growth projection up to 2.5% this year is to be welcomed, as was the Chancellor’s promise that the squeeze on public spending would end a year earlier. However, for local government, the story remains the same and it is yet to see this growth trickle down into the public purse. 

A projected £13bn of cuts to government departments will hit local authorities across the country, and this squeeze will no doubt have an impact. This is especially true for those councils that are still trying to cope with the effects of earlier budget cuts, and the resulting service reductions in key areas such as community safety, road maintenance and social care.

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