Pickles announces 1.7% council cuts
English councils’ spending power will be cut by 1.7% overall in 2013, Eric Pickles has announced.
The Communities Secretary told MPs reductions would not be uniform council-by-council, with some authorities facing cuts of 8.8%.
“1.7% represents a bargain to local authorities – a small number of authorities will require larger savings to be made, but no councils will face a loss of more than 8.8% of their spending power.”
Mr Pickles insisted there was still scope for “sensible savings” to be made at a local level in areas such as procurement.
The Government has also announced today that councillors will not have access to the Local Government Pension Scheme from 2014.
The move, which the Department for Communities and Local Government predict will save £7m a year, was welcomed by Tory chairman Grant Shapps, who said it would “strengthen the integrity and independence of councillors”.
The Financial Times reports that the majority of England's councils are driving down costs by sharing services. The Local Government Association told the FT 337 out of 353 councils have set up partnerships in an effort to cut expenditure.