Brilliant news for our local area, as the Government announces new funding for councils across England, including Sutton.
Councils across England will receive £51.2 billion next year – an increase of £2.2 billion in core spending from last year, including access to an extra £1 billion for social care. An estimated £3 billion of additional support is also available for councils to deal with COVID-19 pressures.
For Sutton, this amounts to extra funding of £7.23 million for next year.
This financial package provides councils with additional resources to deliver effective local services and continue to support their communities during the pandemic, while protecting council taxpayers from excessive increases.
Included in the £51.2 billion provisional settlement is:
Rewards for welcoming new homes
The Government has committed £622 million to continue the New Homes Bonus scheme in 2021-22. The scheme financially rewards councils for the number of additional new homes they built, locally incentivising housing growth and creating homes for local residents. The Government will soon be inviting views on how we can reform the scheme from 2022-23 to ensure it is focused where homes are needed most.
A new Lower Tier Services Grant
The Government is proposing a new unringfenced Lower Tier Services Grant in 2021-22, which will allocate £111 million to councils with responsibility for services such as homelessness, planning, recycling and refuse collection and leisure services. The grant will contain a one-off minimum funding floor, so that no council – either upper or lower tier – will have less funding available in 2021-22 than this year.
Giving local residents a voice on council tax rises
Local residents will have the power to veto excessive council tax rises, with a referendum being required if councils propose raising the tax by 2% or more, with extra flexibility for some authority types. Before setting rates, councils should take into account the financial circumstances of their residents.
Councils with responsibility for adult social care will be able to set a further 3% increase, ring-fenced exclusively for adult social care. Anything above this level will need to be voted on by local people. This strikes the right balance between addressing pressure on services and giving council-tax payers the final say on excessive increases.
In order to support those least able to pay their council tax, including households financially hard-hit by the pandemic, there will be £670 million of new grant funding available outside of the core settlement for local council tax support.
In order to further support councils next year, the Government has previously announced:
Help for rough sleepers
The Government is committed to building on the progress of Everyone In and support rough sleepers and those at risk of homelessness during COVID-19. Including an additional £254 million resource funding for 2021-22 to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping, including the £103 million announced earlier this year for accommodation and substance misuse support. This means the Government will be spending over £750 million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping next year.
More support for victims of domestic abuse
The Government has committed an extra £125 million new burdens funding for local authorities to provide safe accommodation for victims of domestic abuse and their children. This new duty, included in the Domestic Abuse Bill, forms part of the Government’s ongoing commitment to support families affected by domestic abuse.
The Home Office has announced policing will receive up to £15.8 billion to build back safer and cut crime. The 2021-22 funding package includes over £400 million to recruit 20,000 extra officers by 2023 and will enable policing to tackle serious violence and increase the number of specialist officers tackling counter-terrorism and serious organised crime.