Local Gov Finance Settlement response from the Leader of the Council.
Published: Thursday, 12th January 2023
The Leader of Hounslow Council, Councillor Shantanu Rajawat, has warned the council will need to make some tough decisions in the coming weeks as the authority grapples with increasing costs and rising demand for services.
The statement is in response to the proposed funding deal for local authorities announced by the government on 19 December.
Commenting on the settlement Cllr Rajawat said: “Hounslow – like many other boroughs – continues to face a steep rise in demand for services, while juggling tighter budgets and soaring costs.
“Local authorities are taking responsibility and stepping-up to look after vulnerable people with complex needs during the cost-of-living crisis, so it is vital that we are properly funded.
“The proposed local government funding settlement is calculated on the assumption that councils will put up council tax by 5%. If that deal goes ahead, we will face the stark choice of either putting up council tax or having a very significant budget shortfall.
“It is also of concern that the government has not committed to longer-term funding for councils, which means we cannot be certain about how much money we will have in the years ahead, making it difficult to plan.
“With inflation at a 40-year high and demand for many of our vital services never greater, we will inevitably have to make some very tough choices over the coming weeks once the funding we receive from the government is confirmed.
“Whatever happens though we must be financially responsible and make sure we can balance the books, while continuing to provide that safety net for those in need.
“We know times are very difficult at the moment for many of our residents and we will continue to do everything we can to work efficiently, keep our costs down and make sure we use our money wisely, on the things that make a real difference to our residents’ lives.”
The provisional local government finance settlement 2023/24 was published by the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities on 19 December 2022 and can be read in full here.