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Letter: The Government Knows About Local Authority Funding Problems

Published on: 28 Jul, 2023
Updated on: 28 Jul, 2023

From: Bibhas Neogi

In response to: Government Policy is Largely to Blame for Guildford’s Financial Woes

The financial problems of local authorities have been known to the central government for a long time.

I quote from the National Audit Office report of January 2013: “In a report examining central government’s approach to local authority funding, the National Audit Office has highlighted the increasing difficulty faced by local authorities over the rest of the spending review period in absorbing the reductions in their central government funding without reducing services.”

“The spending watchdog recommends that the Department for Communities and Local Government work with other government departments to improve the evaluation of the impact of decisions on local authority finances and services.”

Another NAO report examined funding during the Covid-19 pandemic and financing of central government to local authorities.

Guildford Borough Council was not in the list of councils the NAO had examined but the report found an overall underfunding by the central government to most authorities – both county councils and borough councils. See figures 10 and 11 of this report below which summarise the findings as bar charts.

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