Cllr Spencer Drury welcomes £8.09m boost to Greenwich Council budget next year

By | December 20, 2020

Cllr Spencer Drury has welcomed the Government’s announcement that Greenwich Council will see its budget boosted by 3.2% per cent next year, as part of the Conservatives’ commitment to level up local services across the country and give them the resources they need to support their communities as we recover from the pandemic.

Local authorities in England, including the Royal Borough of Greenwich, will receive a share of £51.2 billion local government funding next year – up £2.2 billion on this year. Funding for key public services will again be protected, with significant extra resources dedicated to areas where they are needed most. Thanks to the investment being made by the Conservatives, Greenwich Council will have an extra £8.09m to spend next year.

The local government finance settlement sets out how much councils have to spend on vital local services each year, including social care which will see a £1 billion increase in funding next year as a result of the announcement. In total, local authorities across England will receive an extra £5 billion in support next year, including a further £1.55 billion in additional grant funding to cover costs relating to the pandemic and an extra £670 million to help families facing hardship with their council tax bills.

This is on top of the more than £7.2 billion in additional funding given to local areas throughout the pandemic so far to protect vital services that have kept vulnerable people and communities safe.

Commenting, Spencer said:

“All local authorities play a vital role in our communities, providing the crucial local services that people rely on every day, so this support for Greenwich Council is vital and welcome.

“I am delighted that Greenwich Council will have more than £8m extra funding this year thanks to this Conservative Government. These funds will help the Labour Council support local residents (although I doubt they will be keen to thank the Government for this help).  I should add that, from memory, the last meeting of Council confirmed that the estimated extra cost of the pandemic is £9m, so this payment alone is almost enough to cover all the extra costs and we are aware that there have been a range of extra payments taking support for Greenwich Council well over that mark.  Of course Greenwich Council has been overspending its budget for some years now which means that it may still run a deficit for this financial year.”

Commenting, Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick 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.

“That’s why 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.”

Thanks to measures introduced by the Conservatives, local people now have a stronger voice over council tax rises than ever before.

This means local residents have the power to veto excessive council tax rises, with a referendum being required if councils propose raising the tax by 2% or more; 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 also 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.

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About Spencer Drury

Spencer was one of the three Councillors for Eltham North Ward between 2002 and 2022. He lost his Council seat in the May 2022 elections and now occasionally contributes to debates on local issues.

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