Parks services risk significant funding pressures

29 April 2016 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal

The maintenance of parks and waste services risks significant decline by 2020 because of the “huge funding pressures on local councils”, according to a new report.


An Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) and New Policy Institute (NPI) report found that by 2020, the combined current and capital spending by UK local government will be lower than at any time since before 1948.

Should current trends continue, council tax, until recently a minority source of local government finance, will account for at least half the money coming in to all English local authorities by 2020. For shire counties, it will account for three quarters. By 2020, the revenue support grant will be mainly confined to metropolitan, unitary districts and London boroughs, which means that shire counties and districts will be almost entirely reliant on council tax and business rates.

Paul O’Brien, chief executive of APSE, said: “With huge funding pressures on local councils this report highlights the hidden costs of decline in council finances. Whilst new funding for social care is of course welcome, the overall picture for local council finances remains grim. Without adequate funding we risk abandoning liveability services like parks, refuse and recycling, highways, and street lighting to long term decline.”

The report advocates a sustainable future for liveability and public realm services. Allowing liveability services to decline through a lack of funding will force up ancillary care demands at a neighbourhood level, reveals the report.

The report explores the precarious financial position placed upon frontline services and, in a series of recommendations, calls upon councils to ensure sufficient future funding for frontline services, recognising the impact of such services on the quality of life for local residents, and providing good places for businesses to locate.

In March, Croydon Council reported that it is considering using community groups and volunteers to help manage its green spaces. The council said it was committed to keeping green spaces for future generations, but said that it was facing a significant challenge in trying to maintain high-quality services.

Source link


Latest Issue

BDC 305 Jun 2023