The Funding Crisis in Local Government

17 Mar 2024
Excess rubbish piled around large bins.

Roads riddled with dangerous potholes, bus routes disappearing, breakfast clubs vanishing, youth services gone, the elderly are left without the care they deserve, bin collections less and less frequent. This isn't some distant dystopia; it's the reality faced by communities across our country today.

Rishi Sunak and his Conservative Government have left a blackhole in the finances of local councils. They're hoping you won’t notice that they’re to blame for when the services you rely on are stopped dead by a lack of funding.

The Conservatives have cut councils’ funding by a quarter since 2016 in real terms. Parliament’s cross-party local government select committee’s report, released this year, found “systemic underfunding of local councils in England” and a £4bn hole in council funding for 2024/25.

This Conservative chaos leaves 1 in 5 councils in England now believing that it is likely that they will become insolvent in the next 18 months.

It's a crisis that knows no party lines - Labour, Liberal Democrat, Conservative - all councils are feeling the pinch. And at least 40 Conservative MPs have joined calls for more support from the Government.

Liberal Democrats have long called on the Government to properly fund local services - from health and social care to transport; to give local authorities more powers to deliver for their communities; and to reform business rates to boost local economies.

Today, Liberal Democrats have passed new policy calling to address the funding shortfall and get our vital local services back on their feet:

  • Urgent Funding for Local Authorities: Close the current £4 billion funding gap immediately identified by the cross-party local government select committee.
  • Support for Local Services: Recognise the vital role of local authorities and ensure they have the resources they need to deliver essential services for the long term.
  • Addressing the Crisis in Social Care: 70p of every £1 of top-tier council spending goes to adult and children’s social care, we must build a consensus on long-term funding of social care.
  • Taking On the Big Challenges: Support the LGA's 'Make It Local' campaign, which outlines how local government is key to delivering solutions to the biggest issues for the public.

It's time for change. We cannot sit idly by as our local services crumble. Liberal Democrats will always stand up for a fair deal for communities.




This website uses cookies

Like most websites, this site uses cookies. Some are required to make it work, while others are used for statistical or marketing purposes. If you choose not to allow cookies some features may not be available, such as content from other websites. Please read our Cookie Policy for more information.

Essential cookies enable basic functions and are necessary for the website to function properly.
Statistics cookies collect information anonymously. This information helps us to understand how our visitors use our website.
Marketing cookies are used by third parties or publishers to display personalized advertisements. They do this by tracking visitors across websites.