Greg Clark confirmed an historic settlement for town halls, paving the way for councils to have greater financial freedom from Whitehall, while at the same time responding to calls from local government to make funding adult social care a key priority.
The 4-year financial settlement transforms the relationship between central and local government – this is something councils have been calling for over a number of decades. By the end of this decade, councils will be funded from revenues they raise locally, rather than central government grants.
To help councils transform from dependence on central government grants to greater financial autonomy, local government will receive £300 million transitional funding over the next 2 years, after which other resources will grow.
The settlement also recognises the importance of funding adult social care, with up to £3.5 billion of additional funds being made available to local government for these services by 2019 to 2020.
Communities Secretary Greg Clark said:
“These are important times for local government. The devolution of power and resources from Whitehall is gathering momentum.
Today’s settlement means every council will have, for the financial year ahead, at least the resources allocated by the provisional settlement. In addition, we will provide transitional funding for the first 2 years of the Spending Review period for councils as they move from dependence on central government grants to greater financial autonomy.
The government will continue to keep bills down with Council Tax still expected to be lower in real terms in 2019 to 2020 than it was in 2009 to 2010.”