Government funding announcement confirms unfair settlement for Nottingham

Loxley House

The Government has announced today what funding they will give to councils in 2016/17 – with Nottingham City Council’s main grant cut by £15.4m to £58.4m.

The figure has halved in the last two years and has dropped by £102m over the past five years – a much harsher drop than for many more affluent places.

By the Government’s own measure of ‘spending power,’ each Nottingham household will have lost £325 over three years including 2016/17, while those in Windsor have actually gained £9 over the same period.

The Government has also confirmed its social care precept at 2% on top of Council Tax to go towards spiralling social care bills. But in Nottingham this will raise only £1.8m – well short of the £4.7m needed to care just for the additional elderly and disabled people requiring services each year.

City Council Deputy Leader, Councillor Graham Chapman, said: “It is now abundantly clear that cities like Nottingham with higher levels of deprivation have been dealt a bigger blow than more affluent places. We are bearing the brunt of these cuts while places whose residents do not rely so heavily on council services are being cushioned from them.

“George Osborne has introduced a 2% levy on Council Tax to pay for adult social care, on top of his expectation that cash-strapped councils will increase Council Tax – further shifting the funding burden from national taxation to local tax payers.

“It places us in a position where, having made £152m of savings over the past five years and preparing to make a further £20.5m in the forthcoming year, we have no option but to apply the social care levy as well as increasing Council Tax, in order to keep vital services going.”

The settlement announced today also confirms that the main Government grant will be phased out altogether by 2019/20, to be replaced by the ability for councils to collect all rather than half of the Business Rates raised locally.

Councillor Chapman added: “This fundamental shift in the funding of public services places them on a much more precarious footing, so that our ability to keep care homes open, for example, is reliant on businesses remaining in and continuing to be attracted to Nottingham.”

 

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