The Yorkshire Post says: System not fit for purpose as council tax goes up while authorities raid reserves
In just a few weeks’ time as the new financial year begins, almost every resident in Yorkshire will see their council tax bill increase by a substantial margin – but they are incredibly unlikely to receive a superior service to match their higher payments.
A report by public spending watchdog the National Audit Office has highlighted how in addition to repeatedly raising council tax, local authorities are increasingly raiding their reserves to cope with growing demand on social services for vulnerable adults and children.
There is an undeniable link between the poor state of council finances and Government funding for local authorities falling by 50 per cent since April 2011 as part of austerity measures following the fallout from the global financial crisis.
Councils are running out of options to cope with cuts, says Yorkshire chief executive
The chief executive of a Yorkshire council has warned that she and her fellow town hall leaders are “running out of options” as they try to shield local communities from the effects of austerity cuts.
Jo Miller, the chief executive of Doncaster council and president of Solace, the body representing council chief executives and senior managers, says many local authorities do not generate enough in taxes to cover their spending pressures.
Three more Tory councils slip into bankruptcy danger zone
Three Conservative-run counties have been added to the list of those showing signs of financial stress because of funding cuts.
Somerset, Norfolk and Lancashire county councils are exhibiting some of the warning signs demonstrated by Northamptonshire county council before it declared itself effectively bankrupt last month, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
The three join the Tory-run Surrey county council, which is facing a £100 million shortfall, as the counties in the deepest financial crises. The National Audit Office has found that one in ten councils could run out of money in the next three years. County councils have been hit hard by cuts to local government funding since 2010 and social care costs are rising.