Government Announces an Additional £600 Million Boost for Councils


In January 2024, the Levelling Up Secretary, Michael Gove, announced that Councils across England will receive a £600 million support package, on top of the funding already outlined in the provisional settlement. This funding is aimed at assisting Councils in delivering essential services across the country, including social care.

The Government appreciates the significant role that Councils play, and has actively engaged with them through an extensive listening program. This engagement has helped the Government comprehend the pressures faced by Councils, including the impact of high inflation stemming from the Covid legacy and global instability due to conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East. The announcement of an additional £600 million in support underscores the unprecedented challenges that Councils have encountered.

The additional funding will provide necessary support, ensuring stability, and ensuring additional resources to address urgent challenges. Additionally, there will be accountability measures to maximise efficiency and value for money within local authorities.

At SCTV we welcome the news of much-needed extra funding at a crucial time within the sector, however it also reminds us of the ongoing challenges faced.

In his latest statement, Mr Gove announced a rise in the "funding guarantee", the percentage by which Councils' core spending power – before decisions are made about Council tax – increases every year, from 3% to 4%.  He also said that the rural services delivery grant would rise by £15 million in recognition of the challenges faced by authorities serving dispersed populations.

These measures mean the Local Government Finance Settlement for 2024-25 will make available over £64.7 billion, an increase of 7.5% in cash terms on 2023-24. Representatives of all tiers for local government have expressed support for these measures, which will provide critical support across the sector to deliver services.

Speaking about this additional support, Michael Gove said:

"We have listened to Councils across England about the pressures they’re facing and have always stood ready to help those in need. This additional £600 million support package illustrates our commitment to local government. We are in their corner, and we support the incredible and often unsung work they do day-to-day to support people across the country."

Minister for Local Government Simon Hoare added:
"This injection of funding will help ensure services which people rely on can continue – and demonstrates how important we view local government. We have listened to various organisations and considered their views seriously and I’m grateful to those who reached out to me.

The funding offers something for all our hard-working councils, with additional funding for social care as well as help for rural authorities to deliver essential services."

In a written statement, Mr Gove also called on Councils to cut "wasteful" spending, hitting out at "discredited equality, diversity and inclusion programmes". He said local authorities would have to "produce productivity plans setting out how they will improve service performance and reduce wasteful expenditure to ensure every area is making best use of taxpayers' money."

At SCTV we hope this additional funding will be of great benefit to communities and vulnerable individuals in need across the UK.