Surfeit of grant pots makes a pot noodle for councils

By Michael Burton | 08 April 2021
  • Michael Burton

One of the persistent grumbles from local government against Whitehall is the latter’s obsession with allocating little pots of money normally requiring time-consuming bid processes.

These add up to a fraction of what has been taken from local government in spending cuts since 2010 but you can see the attraction for ministers. It makes them look like they’re in charge of their policy agenda, responding to crises with bursts of largesse tagged with eye-catching titles, so much more rewarding for ministers than simply handing over billions of pounds of revenue support grant every year to ungrateful councils which then invariably complain it’s not enough. Another essential aspect to these pots of cash is that they must appear to be new and certainly not tainted by association with a previous minister, let alone Government.

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