Council calls on Government for much-needed extra support

Cllr Jane Scullion, Leader of Calderdale Council

Urgent action needs to be taken to support our communities, and unprecedented cost and demand pressures must be fully addressed.

That’s Calderdale Council’s final plea to Government before the House of Commons confirms how much money will go to local authorities in 2024/25.

The Government announced its provisional Finance Settlement for councils on 18 December 2023. This does not provide enough funding to meet the severe budget and demand challenges that Calderdale Council is facing.

The announcement included a 6.5% increase in core spending power for councils, but the provisional allocation for Calderdale is a smaller increase of 5.9%. This increase assumes the Council will increase Council Tax to the maximum level possible of 4.99%, including the 2% precept for social care. 

The Council’s latest estimate of its spending power for 2024/25 is £655,000 less than its forecast in the Medium-Term Financial Plan in November 2023.

Cllr Jane Scullion, Leader of Calderdale Council, said:

“We are over half a million pounds worse off than expected. We urgently need more funding from national Government to give our communities the support they need, and we urge them to give further consideration to the serious pressures on council services and escalating demand. We will be calling for this in our response to the Local Government Finance Settlement consultation, before the final allocations are confirmed nationally in the next few weeks.

“In February we need to set a balanced budget for the financial year ahead. Government funding keeps reducing in real terms and is not keeping up with the rising costs we face. We are more reliant than ever on Council Tax as our main source of income. We have some really difficult decisions to make to close our £11.7 million funding gap. Decisions that will affect the services our communities rely on every day, despite the amazing work our Council has done to reduce costs over the past decade. 

“The rapidly increasing demand for our services, especially in social care for children and adults, means we will have to do more with less, having already lost £110 million from our budgets and a third of our workforce since 2010.”

The provisional Local Government Finance Settlement informs the budget proposals that Calderdale Council’s Cabinet will consider on Monday 15 January 2024. The Council’s annual budget consultation will start after that meeting and will give local people the chance to comment within 28 days. The budget will be agreed at the annual Budget Council meeting on Monday 26 February 2024.

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