Antony Higginbotham MP has welcomed the Government’s announcement that Burnley Borough Council will see its budget boosted by 2.6 per cent next year, as well as an additional 5.3 per cent for Lancashire County Council and 2.4% for Lancashire Fire.
This funding will result in Burnley Council having an additional £360,000 next year, and Lancashire County Council, which has responsibility for schools, social care and highways, an additional £44.36 million. The funding increase for Lancashire Fire Service equates to £1.35 million.
Across the country this funding represents £51.2 billion to local authorities, up £2.2 billion from this year. It means key public services will again be protected, with significant extra resources dedicated to areas where they are most needed, forming a key part of the Conservatives’ commitment to level up local services across the country and give them the resources they need to support communities as we recover from the pandemic.
The local government finance settlement sets out how much councils have to spent on vital local services each year, including social care which will see a £1 billion increase in funding next year as a result of the announcement. In total, local authorities across England will receive an extra £5 billion in support next year, including £1.55 billion in additional grant funding to cover costs relating to the pandemic and an extra £670 million to help families facing hardship with their council tax bills.
This is on top of more than £7.2 billion in additional funding given to local authorities throughout the pandemic so far, including both Burnley Borough Council and Lancashire County Council, to protect the services that have kept vulnerable people and communities safe.
Funding has also been made available to local authorities to compensate lost commercial income, including from car parks; and a £100 million fund to support leisure trusts like Burnley Leisure.
Commenting, Antony Higginbotham MP said:
Throughout this pandemic we have seen how instrumental both Burnley and Lancashire council’s have been, providing critical services that people rely on every day and getting grants to businesses that need them.
I’m really pleased to see that we have received this funding increase from the Government, providing hundreds of thousands of pounds to the Borough and almost £45 million to the County. This funding will ensure those who need it continue to have access to the help and support they need, be it social care, in school or through hubs like Burnley Together.
It builds on the significant boost provided to the council at the beginning of the year, underlying my determination to ensure we have the resources we need locally to drive forward our economic recovery in a way that works for us as we build back better.
The 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 £7.2 billion extra funding to date.
That’s why I’m announcing a financial package that will provide over £5 billion of extra support next year. This will give councils the resources they need to lead the recovery of their communities while delivering the services people rely on.
Thanks to measures introduced by the Conservatives, local people now have a stronger voice over council tax rises than ever before.
This means local residents have the power to veto excessive council tax rises, with a referendum being required if councils propose raising the tax by 2 per cent or more; Councils with responsibility for adult social care like Lancashire County Council, will be able to set a further 3 per cent 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.