Fylde MP Mark Menzies has welcomed an increase in Government funding for Lancashire County Council.
Lancashire will receive an increase of £44.36 million in central Government funding to help deliver services, continue to support communities through the Covid-19 pandemic, and to protect residents from excessive council tax rises.
The funding for Lancashire is part of a £51.2 billion national funding package – equivalent to a 4.2 per cent rise.
Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick announced the funding, which includes a £2.2 billion increase in core funding with a £1 billion increase in social care funding to ensure councils can meet rising demand, fund more care home places and social workers, and protect some of the most vulnerable in society.
Mr Menzies said: “I am pleased to see these rises and particularly in Lancashire, for social care.
“With the pandemic ongoing, it is more important than ever that Government helps our councils support businesses and residents as much as possible.”
The Government also announced allocations for £1.55 billion of unringfenced funding for councils to continue to support their communities during the pandemic and lead the recovery in their local areas. The allocation of this money has taken into account a range of factors including population and deprivation, as well as the varying cost of delivering services across the country.
In addition to the £1.55 billion, £670 million has also been confirmed to enable councils to continue reducing council tax bills for those least able to pay, including households impacted financially by the pandemic.
A local tax income guarantee scheme for irrecoverable losses this year will also help compensate councils for lost council tax and business rates income. This means today we are confirming an estimated £3 billion of additional support for councils to deal with the pandemic, taking the total overall to over £10 billion.
This comprehensive financial package will provide councils with the certainty they need to plan their budgets for the coming year.
Local Government Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: “Councils have played a critical role leading their communities during the pandemic and delivering vital local services to vulnerable people and we have supported them with £7.2 billion extra funding to date.
“I am announcing a financial package that will provide over £5 billion of extra support next year. This will give councils the resources they need to lead the recovery of their communities while delivering the services that people rely on.”
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. We will soon be inviting views on how we can reform the scheme from 2022-23 to ensure it is focussed where homes are needed most.
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.
Local residents will have the power to veto excessive council tax rises, with a referendum being required if councils propose raising the tax by two per cent 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 three per cent 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.
The government will boost the Rural Services Delivery Grant by £4 million to £85 million next year, making it the highest rural grant paid to date.