Local government funding and services snapshot


The spending power of local authorities in England was cut substantially during this parliament. Local authorities’ spending per person was cut by 23.4% in real terms between 2009–10 and 2014–15, using a comparable definition of net spending on services over time by single-tier and county councils. Grants from central government (excluding those specifically for education, public health, police and fire services) were cut by 36.3% overall (and by 38.7% per person) in real terms during this period. However, the size of cuts varied markedly across the country, from 6.2% to 46.3%. On the whole, more deprived areas and those that saw faster population growth have seen larger cuts.

Further cuts in 2015–16 generally be focused on the same local authorities that have lost over the last five years. For example, London boroughs face cuts of 6.3% on average next year compared with 1.9% cuts faced by shire counties. Without a change in policy, any further cuts over the next parliament are also likely to affect the same places again.

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