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Deputy Leader reacts to Spending Review

'Warm welcome' for funding but goal must be reform

Piles of pound coins

The council's Deputy Leader, Byron Rhodes, has issued a statement following yesterday’s Spending Review.

We warmly welcome yesterday’s spending review which signals the biggest investment in local government for a decade. 

Social care and special educational needs and disability support face the greatest demand and I’m particularly pleased to see extra funding for these under pressure areas. Our trailblazing prevention work continues to transform lives and ongoing funding for our Supporting Leicestershire Families programme is great news. Over the next few weeks, we’ll analyse the figures in more detail and look at how we can invest the extra funding. This could include current priorities such as prevention services, investing in maintenance of roads and grass verges and climate change. 

A one-year cash injection helps to reduce our budget gap but we must not lose sight of the bigger picture. And future certainty, a cast iron commitment to fair funding and a longer-term solution to local government finance, for social care in particular, are essential. Fixing social care requires all sectors, including Government, to work together to achieve it, rather than permission to raise the Council Tax precept locally.

Yesterday’s announcement shows the Government is heeding councils’ calls for much-needed funding. But with rapidly rising demand set to push up our SEND budget gap, local government funding reform must remain a priority. Despite this extra money, the county council will remain one of the lowest funded authorities in the country.

The council’s latest budget forecast will be discussed by the council’s cabinet next Friday (13 September) – watch the meeting online


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