Local authorities face unprecedented financial pressures with demands on them to spend less money. Despite this, local government has risen to and met the challenges it faced. How have local authorities saved money and what issues does this raise?
Local authorities face unprecedented financial pressures. The demands on them to spend less money have never been greater. This is at a time when demographic pressures and public expectations are also on the rise. Spend is dominated by social care, where the scope for savings is apparently limited and the tolerance for failure is close to zero.
Despite this, local government has risen to and met the challenges it faced. Space has been found to increase investment in children’s services where public scrutiny is greatest. Although eligibility criteria have been tightened, the needs of older people and those younger adults with health and social care requirements have been met. How has this been done? What is the scope for further reductions in spend? What could have been done better?
This piece explores the various methods that local authorities have adopted to save money, raises issues that need to be addressed and what has to happen next.