Local councils funding crisis cannot be ignored unless central government wants to step in and take over running of key services

The call from a cross-party coalition of councils, including Bradford and Kirklees, for urgent action from the next government on the funding crisis cannot go unheeded.

The Chancellor’s most recent budget did little to tackle the funding crisis in local government in any meaningful way.

Sticking plasters will no longer do for local authorities. This is a full blown crisis that will see many communities paying the price.

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The Opposition hasn’t offered a compelling vision for fixing issues in local government either, despite the general election on the horizon.

Bradford City Hall is the home of Bradford Council. PIC: Tony JohnsonBradford City Hall is the home of Bradford Council. PIC: Tony Johnson
Bradford City Hall is the home of Bradford Council. PIC: Tony Johnson

It is not hyperbole to describe the current situation as a crisis. The fact that Key Cities, a national network representing 27 urban centres across the UK and 10 per cent of the population, has described it as such means it’s an issue that can no longer be ignored.

These councils are delivering services at the coal face of communities. Those 27 cities sit in the shadow of the central government’s ivory tower. They keep Britain moving and they are on the brink.

Make no mistake about what is at stake. The decay has reached such a level that the central government would have to take up the slack and deliver key services itself.

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The question for any future Prime Minister is, how are you going to do that? How is a future government going to ensure that the bins are emptied, housing needs are met and support for vulnerable people is in place?

The absence of basic services signals a breakdown in society. That is why the next government needs to tackle the crisis in council funding fast. Not just with an immediate package of financial support but also wider reforms to ensure that public services are funded on the basis of need.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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