Local councils planning to raise and introduce charges

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19th February 2015 14:35 - Local Government

A recent survey conducted by MJ magazine and the Local Government Information Unit has found that 80 per cent of local councils in EnglandLocal councils planning to raise and introduce charges are expecting to introduce and increase charges in the approaching financial year (2015-16).

The reason behind the new charges has been identified as a lack of money within local government.

Half of the local councils surveyed said that they were planning to raise council taxes and to turn down a government grant, which is equivalent to a 1 per cent increase for local councils.

Of the local councils surveyed, 90 councils claimed that they will not be able to execute their statutory duties, such as: maintaining schools, maintaining roads, social housing and child protection, amongst others, in the period 2015-16.

According to ministers, local councils may be able to save money by working as a team, reducing fraud and controlling property.

In England, there are approximately 400 local authorities. Senior officials from 90 of the 400 councils participated in the Local Government Information Unit’s survey.

The survey also identified that 90 per cent of the councils surveyed believed that the existing system of finance within local government was “not fit for purpose”.

Of the respondents, 76 per cent claimed that if they were able to keep business rates paid in their area, they would be able to become “financially sustainable”.

CEO of the Local Government Information Unit, Jonathan Carr said of the survey: "Councils across the country are telling us that the local government finance system is broken”

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