Financial distress in local authorities – Levelling Up Committee Chair raises concerns with Secretary of State
28 November 2023
Clive Betts, Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee has written to Secretary of State Michael Gove to highlight a range of concerns relating to the financial health of councils in England, following a recent series of Committee evidence sessions on financial distress in local authorities.
The Chair’s letter to the Secretary of State highlights concerns on the gap in funding to local councils and on key service pressures such as on the provision of social care, children’s services, and homelessness.
The correspondence puts a series of questions on council funding and also announces the Secretary of State will answer questions from the cross-party group of MPs at a Committee evidence on Wednesday 6 December.
Clive Betts, Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee, said: “Councils across the board are facing a set of very serious financial and service challenges. In our inquiry, we’ve heard that councils are on a ‘knife edge’ or that local authorities finances are at a “tipping point”. The alarm has been sounded and this isn’t just for councils hit by one-off issues but those tipped into difficulty by a range of factors, including the rising costs of social care and children’s services, and the effects of the housing crisis and homelessness. I hope the Secretary of State will examine the key items of evidence from our inquiry so far and we look forward to putting questions to him at our evidence session on 6 December”.
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