Camden to lose out to wealthy counties on government ‘superfund’ designed to ease cuts

Cllr Theo Blackwell, Camden's Chief of Finance, says Camden will lose out to local authorities in th

Cllr Theo Blackwell, Camden's Chief of Finance, says Camden will lose out to local authorities in the wealthy home counties on a £300 government 'Superfund@ designed to soften the impact of the cuts - Credit: Archant

Camden Labour say they are set to lose out on a £300 million government “superfund” designed to soften the impact of the cuts, whilst local authorities in the leafy home counties will benefit the most.

The final local government finance settlement for the coming year was announced this week, with figures for Camden substantially the same as those announced in the provisional settlement in December, meaning core revenue funding will be reduced by 27% in cash terms over the next four years.

Following the government’s comprehensive spending review in November, a special fund was set up by the Department of Communities and Local Government, but Labour say their research reveals that 83 per cent of the fund will be allocated to wealthy, Conservative controlled councils.

Camden Council’s chief of finance, Theo Blackwell, said: “Camden has lost nearly 50 per cent funding since 2010. This means each and every year the council has to cut around £20 million from local services. Many shires areas have had their funding protected. This week Camden successfully staved off an attempt to make this year’s deep government cuts even deeper, but unlike the southern counties, we have no support from this special fund.”

The biggest beneficiaries will be Surrey, set to receive £24 million, with £19 million going to Hampshire, £16 million to Hertfordhire, £14 million to Essex, £12 million to West Sussex, £11 million to Kent and £9 million to Buckinghamshire.

Over the coming days, Camden will publish its Revenue Estimates and Council Tax Setting report for the coming year, which will set out further detail regarding the settlement and its implications for the borough.

Camden leader Sarah Hayward has indicated the council may introduce a two per cent precept to council tax bills in order to help fund the growing social care bill.

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