London councils call for one-year Spending Review settlement

8 Jul 19

London councils have demanded the fair funding and the Spending Review are delayed until “unprecedented political turbulence” settles. 

A group of 12 London councils have urged the government to pause the Spending Review and instead publish a one-year settlement, which accounts for inflation. 

Central London Forward also recommended a one-year delay to the fair funding review, which is due to be piloted later this year. 

Nickie Aiken, leader of Westminster City Council, said: “We are living through an era of unprecedented turbulence in politics. The public, businesses, everybody is waiting to see how this process will play out – nobody knows, and it is paralysing the country.

“This is not the time to introduce such fundamental changes to local authority funding as that would be adding unacceptable levels of uncertainty.”

The group noted that the fair funding review is likely to cost London councils the most, with local authorities in the capital making up eight of the ten biggest losers from the review. Westminster City Council is set to be the biggest loser with a 54% reduction in its finances. 

Richard Watts, chair of Central London Forward, said: “Central London boroughs are working tirelessly to support our residents and businesses. 

“Every day we work with young people to help them on the path to better futures, help people find good, well-paid work and help local businesses to grow. 

“We are calling on government to delay the fair funding review and use that time to work with us and local authorities across the country to create a truly fair and sustainable funding system for local government.” 

Central London Forward is made up of Camden, the City of London, Hackney, Islington, Haringey, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth and Westminster.

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