Annal Nayyar – Report article that suggests Council leaders call for ring-fencing of budgets


Informative article from LGA states:

The Government should widen the ring-fencing of health and schools budget to include other frontline services, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).

Yesterday, the Department for Communities and Local Government confirmed local government would not be impacted by the announcement seven departments have agreed to cut their budgets by 10% in 2015.

However, the LGA is warning councils have already taken the biggest cuts to funding in the public sector and should be more directly involved in negotiating the settlement.

It is calling for the ring-fencing of school and health budgets to be relaxed to include other services that would reduce the pressure of these sectors.

Sir Merrick Cockell, chair of the LGA, said: ‘Local government’s financial sustainability is on a knife edge in many areas and significant new cuts would pose a real threat to valued local services. The end result would be the further tightening of eligibility criteria for care and support and cuts to services such as road maintenance, leisure facilities and economic regeneration projects. It is inevitable that it would lead to a significant reduction in, and in some cases even loss of, important local services.

‘The Government must examine how the health and schools budgets could be most effectively used. It should widen the ringfence to incorporate the local services which help the elderly stay independent longer and ensure children are ready for school. This will ultimately save money by reducing pressure on our hospitals, police and prisons.

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