The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy has welcomed a report from the National Audit Office on central government's approach to local authority funding.
CIPFA agrees with the report's central conclusion that, to date, councils across the country have managed reductions in funding well. Most authorities have remained financially stable and determined efforts have clearly been made to limit the impact of cuts on sensitive front-line services and service users.
In order to manage further funding reductions effectively, the NAO recommend that Whitehall Departments must work together to improve their collective ability to evaluate the impact of options considered and decisions taken by Government on council finances and services. This is a critically important recommendation. Without action in this area there is a serious risk that Government will be unsighted on significant and predictable adverse consequences for local finances and services before they have occurred.
Steve Freer, CIPFA's Chief Executive, commented,
"The NAO is right to challenge Government to up its game in evaluating the local impact of national decisions. Without more effective analysis and modelling there is a danger that funding reductions are made on a 'hit and hope' basis and that potentially dire implications for local communities and service users are not understood until the damage is done."
Contact: Matthew Patterson
CIPFA Press Office
t 0207 543 5600
Notes to Editors