Today in Parliament, Lucy Allan MP asked the Secretary of State for Local Government, Robert Jenrick MP, to provide assurances that a 5% rise in council tax, or cuts in vital services will not be necessary.
There had been reports that Telford residents could expect the Council to impose a 5% council tax rise and make cuts in vital services, although this was resoundingly rejected by the Secretary of State.
Telford & Wrekin Council have received £22.5 million of Covid-19 funding this year, including through special ring fenced funds designed to ensure funding can be used effectively, including the £1m Rough Sleepers Fund and the £600k Winter Grant Fund for struggling families.
Furthermore, the Government has provided £30 million for local Telford businesses, supporting 2,500 businesses in Telford. Telford also received an extra £1 million of ‘accelerated funding’ earlier in the year as an additional part of the £25m Towns Fund for which Telford has just submitted a bid.
The Secretary of State was categorical that Telford & Wrekin Council will not have to either raise council tax or cut services unless they choose to do so. At the start of this pandemic, the Government was clear that it would provide all necessary funding to local authorities to help them weather the crisis and increased costs of the pandemic.
Today's Local Government Finance Settlement for 2021/22 totals £51.2 billion, a 4.5% increase in core spending power and a real terms increase on this year.
The settlement will include:
- A £2.2 billion increase in core funding, including £1 billion increase in social care funding
- A further £1.55 billion to help with the ongoing Covid response.
- £622 million to continue New Homes Bonus in 2021-22
- An increase of £4 million in the Rural Services Delivery Grant, which will be £85 million next year.
- A new, one off £111 million Lower Tier Services Grant