NOA report into councils

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As a report by the National Audit Office (NAO) reveals that councils are facing a growing challenge to absorb cuts and to meet their legal obligation to provide services, UNISON is warning that there is much more pain to come for local communities.

New analysis of local government funding by the union shows that the already drastic cuts are even worse than those claimed in the 2010 spending review*.

Heather Wakefield, UNISON head of local government, said:

“The coalition’s multi-billion pound cuts have pared local government services to the bone. It is no surprise that even the most basic services that local councils legally have to provide are now at risk.

“Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost and vital local services such as nurseries, libraries and elderly care centres have closed. More than 300 councils are still not half way through the package of cuts they are required to make, so there is much more pain in store for local communities.”

New analysis by UNISON, the UK’s largest union, shows that the drastic cuts to Formula Grants – a major source of government funding to councils – are worth almost £1.2bn this year. This is much worse than the £0.2bn outlined in the Spending Review 2010.

*Analysis by UNISON, comparing 2012/13 Formula Grant with next year’s cash equivalent, reveals that the cut averages out at 8.4%.

The government’s 2010 Spending Review already meant that for every £100 in Formula Grant that was paid to councils in 2010/11 just £73.60 would be paid in 2013/14. The settlement announced by Eric Pickles now reduces that to just £68.60.

*Local Government already faces a reduction of 28 per cent in Formula Grant by 2014/15. Spending Review 2010 cut Formula Grant – the main grant to local authorities – by £3bn; £1.6bn; £0.2bn and £1.3bn in the years 2011/12 to 2014/15.”

UNISON’s new analysis suggests that the additional cut due to the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement that replaces Formula Grant with the Start Up Funding Assessment (SUFA) averages over 8.4% – a very different picture from that presented by the Government of a reduction in spending power of just 1.7%.

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