The financial health of councils across England is getting worse, the National Audit Office (NAO) has warned. In a new report published today, the watchdog claims local authorities are ‘struggling’ to juggle increasing demand for services with central government funding cuts of nearly 50% since 2010. The report warns many local authorities are relying on using their savings to fund local services and are overspending on services, which it adds is not financially sustainable. The report goes on to show that if local authorities with social care responsibilities keep using their reserves at current rates, one in ten could have exhausted them within three years. According to the report, Social care now accounts for more than half (54.4%) of local authorities’ total service spend, up from 45.3% in 2010-11. There is further evidence that these spending reductions are impacting frontline services. Since 2010-11, 33.7% fewer households have their waste collected … (To read the full article, subscribe below)

jamiehailstone

Jamie Hailstone is senior reporter – NewStart