Local authorities in South West get 4.6% budget increase this year
South West councils and fire authorities will see their budget boosted by 4.6% this year as part of the government’s commitment to level up local services across the country and give them the resources they need to support their communities as we recover from the pandemic.
Authorities in England will receive a share of £51.2billion in local government funding in 2021/22 – up by £2.2billion on 2020/21.
Funding for key public services will again be protected, with significant extra resources dedicated to areas where they are needed most.
South West councils and fire authorities will have an extra £214million to spend in 2021/22, with the overall regional budget increasing from £4.7billion to £4.9billion.
All ceremonial counties in the region will see increases of between 4.3% and 5% for councils:
- Devon – up by £47million (4.6%) to £1.07billion
- Cornwall – up by £23million (4.7%) to £528million
- Somerset – up by £33million (4.5%) to £766million
- Dorset – up by £31million (5%) to £658million
- Bristol – up by £17million (4.3%) to £401million
- Gloucestershire/South Gloucestershire – up by £33million (4.7%) to £749million
- Swindon/Wiltshire – up by £24million (4.4%) to £564million
Meanwhile, Avon, Devon and Somerset and Dorset and Wiltshire fire authorities will see a combined £5million increase (2.7%) to £184million.
The local government finance settlement sets out how much councils have to spend on vital local services each year.
This includes social care, which will see a £1billion increase in funding as a result of the announcement.
In total, local authorities across England will receive an extra £5billion in support next year.
This includes a further £1.55billion in additional grant funding to cover costs relating to the pandemic and an extra £670million to help families facing hardship with their council tax bills.
This is on top of the more than £7.2billion in additional funding given to local areas throughout the pandemic so far to protect vital services that have kept vulnerable people and communities safe.
Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Councils have played a critical role leading their communities during the pandemic and delivering vital local services to vulnerable people and we have supported them with £7.2billion extra funding to date.
“That’s why I am announcing a financial package that will provide over £5billion of extra support.
“This will give councils the resources they need to lead the recovery of their communities while delivering the services that people rely on.”
Thanks to measures introduced by the Conservatives, local people now have a stronger voice over council tax rises than ever before.
Local residents have the power to veto excessive council tax rises, with a referendum being required if councils propose raising the tax by 2% or more.
Councils with responsibility for adult social care will be able to set a further 3% increase, ring-fenced exclusively for adult social care. Anything above this level will also need to be voted on by local people.
This strikes the right balance between addressing pressure on services and giving council tax payers the final say on excessive increases.