Government proposals for a further review of finance to local councils could mean another cash cut of 25% to Hackney – on top of the existing cuts, it would mean Hackney’s budget gap would jump from £18m to over £36m by 2023/4.
Hackney’s Mayor Philip Glanville called it a ‘stitch up’. And new Deputy Mayor Rebecca Rennison described it as ‘a direct and cynical attack on inner-city councils’.
This comes on top of the already £140 million slashed from Hackney’s budgets since 2010 by the Tory and Lib Dem governments.
This is a heavy blow to Hackney as the council sets out to balance its own budget next week.
A shock analysis of the Tory Government’s ‘fair funding review’ proposals into local government finance has revealed that the changes being proposed could mean a further 25% cut in Hackney’s already dwindled government grant.
The analysis, done by the County Councils Network and reported by the Local Government Chronicle (LGC), shows the huge impact of changes to councils’ funding formula.
Funding factors like deprivation and homelessness for government grant funding could be chucked out in favour of factors like ‘remoteness’ ─ a move the Local Government Association Labour Group have called a “smash-and-grab raid” by the Tory government on inner-city, deprived Labour councils in favour of Tory-voting shires.
Philip Glanville, the Labour & Co-operative Mayor of Hackney, said: “The Fair Funding Review is a typical Tory stitch-up ─ making local government from across the country fight for government scraps, rather than give all councils the funding they desperately need.
“I hope the new Chancellor recognises that – rather than be beholden to unelected advisors in Number 10 like he is – local government should have more control of finances, taxes and powers to better serve our communities and not have to go cap-in-hand to national governments. I would urge local Tory Councillors to stand up for Hackney as we are doing.”
Cllr Rebecca Rennison, Labour Deputy Mayor of Hackney and Cabinet Member for Finance said: “Removing factors like deprivation and replacing them with ‘remoteness’ is a direct and cynical attack on inner-city councils.
“Clearly, our country’s district and county councils are struggling with austerity, but the Tories should know that levelling-up the whole country should not mean levelling down London’s poorest communities.”
Check out –
- LGA Analysis: Adult social care relative needs formulas – LGA illustration (January 2020) https://www.local.gov.uk/adult-social-care-relative-needs-formulas-lga-illustration-january-2020
- The MJ story: Ministers row with LGA over fair funding review modelling https://themj.co.uk/Ministers-row-with-LGA-over-fair-funding-review-modelling/216626
- LGA Labour as reported in the Guardian: Former ‘red wall’ areas could lose millions in council funding review https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/jan/25/former-red-wall-areas-could-lose-millions-in-council-funding-review