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APSE's response to the 2017 Autumn Budget

APSE's response to the 2017 Autumn Budget

APSE has welcomed the commitments to new infrastructure funding, particularly that offered to the new Elected Mayors and directly to local councils, through competition, however it has criticised the lack of increased revenue funding to councils in today’s budget and the half measures on housing.

Paul O’Brien, APSE’s chief executive said “As we head into Panto season it really is a case of ‘Oh no he won’t’ when it comes to opening up the Treasury purse – local government is desperate for the Chancellor to spread some revenue cheer to councils; instead Philip Hammond has resorted back to the Pantomime villain, promising only on-going austerity gruel.

He added

“APSE welcomes the recognition that the housing borrowing cap should be lifted to enable councils to build more homes but is disappointed that the Chancellor intends to restrict this as Government sees fit, rather than allowing councils the financial freedoms long-since promised.

APSE has called for local councils to be central to delivering more social homes for rent and has argued that the real issue for many areas is the supply of affordable homes to rent rather than access to affordable homes to buy. A target of 300,000 homes per year will not be delivered without the full involvement of councils and this can only be realistically achieved by allowing councils to borrow to invest in new council homes.

 

Notes to editors

 

Research by APSE has found that:-

 

  • Neighbourhood services have been the hardest hit of all local government services. Spending on neighbourhood services in England fell £3.1bn or 13 per cent between 2010/11 and 2015/16 while spending on social care rose £2.2bn.

 

  • The most deprived local authorities have seen the biggest fall in spending on neighbourhood services. Spending on neighbourhood services fell 22 per cent among the most deprived fifth of Local Councils over five years but only five per cent in better off areas.

 

  • UK local government’s spending as a share of the economy is falling sharply. In 2010/11, UK local government current expenditure accounted for 8.4 per cent of the economy. By 2015/16, it had fallen to 6.7 per cent. By 2021/22, it will be down to 5.7 per cent - a 60 year low. By contrast, UK central government current expenditure has held up. For every £100 central government spent in 2010/11, local government spent £67. By 2018/19, it will be down to £50.

 

  • The worst hit neighbourhood services have seen spending fall by 50 per cent, and most services have seen falls of at least 20 per cent. Across all English local councils, spending fell: by 41 to 50 per cent in three of the 40 individual neighbourhood services (including community development); by 31 to 40 per cent in four (including crime, safety and CCTV) and by 21 to 30 per cent in seven (including sport and recreation and road and bridge maintenance).

 

  • APSE housing research, conducted with the TCPA found that  UK councils are becoming increasingly unable to meet demands for affordable housing and 98% now describe their need as either ‘severe’ or ‘moderate’, with only 1% claiming that their need is not substantial.

 

  • The research informed by a survey of 166 local authorities in Britain highlights the pressure on councils to meet the growing demand for affordable housing due to a lack of new homes being built and that many of those that are being built are not affordable to those in need. APSE has therefore called for more to be done to address the need for affordable homes at social rent and has called for this to be delivered by lifting the HRA cap allowing councils to borrow to invest in a new  generation of council homes.

 

 

For more information or  to arrange for interview please contact Mo Baines, APSE Head of Communication & Coordination on 07971 843515 or email mbaines@apse.org.uk

Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit local government body working with over 300 councils throughout the UK. Promoting excellence in public services, APSE is the foremost specialist in local authority frontline services, hosting a network for frontline service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, cemeteries and crematorium, environmental health, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.

           

 

          

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