Councils 'will struggle' without further funding devolution

Thu 23rd May 2013, 4:41 pm

Incomplete devolution of funding powers is putting councils' provision of public services in danger, according to a new report.

Alexandra Jones: chief executive of Centre for Cities

Think tank Centre for Cities says that in future the amount of cash a city has to spend will be more dependent on the revenues it can generate from local growth.

But the report said that councils still lack sufficient control over their own spending, with Whitehall still determining more than 60 per cent of their budgets.

Alexandra Jones, chief executive of Centre for Cities, said: “Cities are currently at risk of being trapped in a halfway house when it comes to local government reform.

“Despite being critical to the government’s growth strategy, cities do not yet have all the freedoms and flexibilities they require in order to drive growth and raise revenue at a time when public funding for local government is being squeezed.”

The report calls on the government to ensure that the City Deals programme, and the implementation of Lord Heseltine’s proposals to boost local growth, provide our cities with the powers they need to direct investment in transport, housing and skills in their areas.

Read the report - Ways and Means: Money management and power in local government

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