Fair and sustainable funding enables councils to plan and deliver essential public services beyond the short term, to raise more funds locally and to promote greater collective working across local public services.
The benefits to the country of investing in local government are clear and understood – we will:
- continue to highlight the pressures on all services and press for funding that reflects current and future demand, particularly for housing, homelessness, adult social care and children’s services
- lobby Central Government to fully meet all costs and income losses arising from COVID-19 in 2020/21 and beyond
- continue to emphasise and evidence the impact, value and efficiency of local government services
- work with central and local government to identify a wider range of suitable and sustainable funding sources for council services in the future
- work with local and central government on a distribution mechanism for local government funding that supports long-term planning, is evidence-based, simpler and more transparent with appropriate transition mechanisms.
People have a meaningful local voice on a wide range of tax and spending decisions – we will:
- press for freedoms that lead to greater local financial autonomy with a view to achieving local control over both council tax and business rates
- lobby for improvements to business rates to help tackle business rates avoidance and develop proposals to improve the system, including valuation and the appeals process
- press for legislation to allow councils to raise more funds locally including new local taxes and set fees and changes which fully recover costs.
Councils are able to access a range of sources of finance to encourage investment and create jobs, supported by an appropriate financial framework – we will:
- further develop policy on capital financing and investing and contribute to national reviews in these areas so that they support and enable prudent investment and financial management
- contribute to reviews of the accounting and financial regulatory framework for councils to ensure it is appropriate, not over restrictive and balanced with local freedom and accountability
- support the United Kingdom Municipal Bonds Agency to deliver cheaper debt financing to councils, through the sale of bonds in the capital markets.
We will continue to highlight the pressures on all services and press for funding that reflects current and future demand, particularly for housing, homelessness, adult social care and children’s services
Fair and affordable pay awards enable councils to recruit and retain good staff – we will:
- convene the employer side of the collective bargaining arrangements to agree equitable and affordable pay awards for more than two million local authority and related employees, including fire and rescue authorities
- provide evidence to the schoolteachers’ pay review body and Low Pay Commission in relation to the National Living Wage.