Optimal budgeting ‘essential’ as council funding down 11.8%

LOCAL AUTHORITY budget balancing “must be of the highest possible standard” as councils face an 11.8% cut in government funding since 2010/11.

New Audit Commission report Tough Times shows deprived areas suffered the largest budget slashes, but still received more money per head that wealthier parts of the country.

CIPFA said the report “illustrates the critical importance of sound financial management in local government”, but said further reductions in funding means budget balancing must remain exceptionally strong.

Director of local government finance policy Alison Scott said councils have performed “exceptionally well so far”, adding: “CIPFA can offer significant support.”

Falling local income is compounding the problem, sucking a further £1.2bn from local government income and taking the total reduction to £4.7bn, the Audit Commission said.

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