One in three councils fear they will run out of funding to meet their legal duties on providing services such as adult social care, a survey has found.
The poll by the Local Government Association (LGA), which was released to coincide with today’s local government conference in Bournemouth, reveals initial findings ahead of the Spending Review.
Lord Porter, LGA Chairman, said: “Councils in England face a funding gap of more than £3 billion next year, rising to £8 billion by 2025.
“As this survey shows, if the government fails to adequately fund local government there is a real risk to the future financial viability of some services and councils.”
The survey found that one in three councils fear they will run out of funding to fulfil their legal duties on statutory services by 2022/23. Almost two-thirds expressed the same fear by 2024/25.
Almost a fifth of councils (17%) were not confident of realising the savings they have identified in 2019/20 with many spending more than planned due to rising demand on services such as adult social care.
The LGA urged the next Prime Minister to prioritise local services in the next Spending Review and called on the government to, as a minimum, secure funding streams for next year such as the Better Care Fund.
Cllr Nick Rushton, County Councils Network finance spokesman and leader of Leicestershire County Council, said: “We welcome the Local Government Association’s calls for extra clarity and we urge the new government to take action to ensure that local services are protected next year, with a commitment to longer term sustainable and fair funding.”