Shropshire Star

Local government in Shropshire to get £5.1m boost - but leader says it won't cover rising costs

Local government in Shropshire will receive an extra £5.1 million in funding for the next financial year.


The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has published details of its core grant to local authorities for the coming financial year.

The basic settlement – before taking into account the top-up grants to cover rural communities and social care – will see Telford & Wrekin Council receive £54.5 million during the next financial year, while Shropshire Council will get £62.9 million.

The figures represent a 5.2 per cent (£2.7m) increase in Telford & Wrekin Council's settlement, while Shropshire Council will get a 3.8 per cent (£2.4m) rise. The current rate of inflation is four per cent.

However, Shropshire Council will also receive a share of a £500 million top-up which will be distributed to cover the extra costs incurred in areas with particularly sparse populations.

The Government will also make extra funds available to help with the rising costs of adult social care.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said he had made an extra £64.7 billion available for local authorities in England, an increase in core spending power of up to £4.5 billion, or 7.5 per cent.

Councillor Shaun Davies, the Labour leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, said the settlement went nowhere near to covering the rising costs faced by local government in the county.

He added that Telford & Wrekin Council would not be eligible for any payment under the rural services grant, despite 70 per cent of the authority being in rural areas.

Councillor Davies, who is also the chairman of the Local Government Association, said his authority had seen huge cuts in Government funding since 2010.

He said that the amount allocated from the government had fallen by 89 per cent since that time.

He said: "The reality is the 7.6 per cent core spending power that the Government says it is putting into local councils relies on councils putting council tax up by five per cent themselves.

"Also the cost of providing services is going up by far higher than the 7.6 per cent."

Mr Gove said the settlement, and the changes made to address concerns raised through the consultation, will provide local authorities with the tools to support their local communities, continue to reform their services for the long term, and to help communities prepare for the future.

"Every day councils across the country deliver for their communities and play a crucial role in driving forward levelling up," he said.

"This funding package represents an increase of over nine per cent for councils on last year, ensuring a fair deal for local government that reflects the vital work councils do to provide key services on which we all rely."