Council Leader backs LGA campaign on local authority funding

Published Friday 17 November 2023 at 16:09

Blackburn with Darwen Council Leader, Cllr Phil Riley, has shown his support for a Local Government Association campaign calling on government to ‘save local services’.

Councillor Phil Riley said:

Ahead of the government’s autumn statement, and the local government settlement later in the year, I am joining the LGA’s call to save local services.

We’re asking the Government to ensure councils have adequate resources to meet ongoing cost and demand pressures, protect local services from cutbacks and invest in improving the services our communities rely on.

Over the last 15 years, central government grants have decreased in line with austerity measures and a number of local authorities – including some very high profile ones – have effectively declared themselves bankrupt in recent times.

Thankfully, we are not in that position because we have taken difficult decisions in the past and, as confirmed in our recent Corporate Peer Challenge, we have a robust financial and forward planning systems in place.

However, there should be no mistake – demand is massive and growing, costs are rising, inflation is still high and these factors result in pressure on all of our council services. When you add to this the ongoing effects of the cost of living crisis, which is impacting us like everyone else, it creates massive challenges in deciding where best we use our limited resources.

 As the Leader of the Council it is my priority to make sure that nobody is left behind and, working with residents, partner organisations and local businesses, we have to ensure that funds are allocated to vital services to give everyone a better quality of life.

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