Local MP welcomes funding increase for local authorities

Parliament last week approved the funding settlement for English local authorities that will see a real terms increase in available resources over the next two years and give them access to more than £200 billion from 2015 to 2020 to deliver the high-quality services their local communities need.

The settlement gives councils additional financial freedoms to deliver services for their most vulnerable residents while protecting council tax payers from excessive increases in their bills.

For the coming financial year (2018/2019), Kensington and Chelsea will have Core Spending Power of £158.6 million, an increase of £2.2 million or 1.4%, and Hammersmith and Fulham will have Core Spending Power of £158.9 million, an increase of £1.6 million or 1%.

Ahead of last week's Parliamentary debate, the Communities Secretary announced extra funding to help local authorities meet the needs of vulnerable people and support services in rural areas.

Following representations from local government, and Members of Parliament, on the provisional funding plans announced in December, a further £150 million will be available to those councils providing Adult Social Care.

For Kensington and Chelsea, this additional funding amounts to £0.5 million, and for Hammersmith and Fulham, this additional funding amounts to £0.6 million.

Kensington & Chelsea and Hammersmith & Fulham will also benefit from London being confirmed as a business rates retention pilot area. This will see London keeping 100% of growth in business rates, which will stay in communities and be spent on local priorities. This is estimated to generate an additional £240 million in funding across London and is not included in Core Spending Power.

Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid said: "Parliament has today approved a settlement that strikes a balance between relieving growing pressure on local government whilst ensuring that hard-pressed taxpayers do not face excessive bills. We have listened to representations made and delivered on these requests: two years of real terms increases in resources, more freedom and fairness, and greater certainty to plan and secure value for money."

Local Member of Parliament for Chelsea & Fulham, Greg Hands, welcomed the Settlement, saying: "This funding increase for both of the London boroughs which make up my constituency is good news for local residents, as K&C's Core Spending Power increases by 1.4 per cent and H&F's increases by 1 per cent."

Government has also launched a review of local authorities' needs and resources to enable a new funding system to be devised. Ministers are encouraging local authorities to respond to the consultation ahead of the deadline on 12 March 2018.