A vital announcement on the level of cuts that cash-strapped councils will receive next year has been shelved because of the Tory Brexit mess.
Conservative Communities secretary James Brokenshire had been due to announce the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement on Thursday 6th December. But less than 24 hours before the much-anticipated announcement the government cancelled the statement and told local authorities they would not be told about their latest budget cuts until after the key vote on Theresa May’s doomed Brexit deal next week.
Andrew Gwynne, Labour’s shadow communities secretary, said the delay was evidence that “Theresa May’s weakness has completely immobilised the government”.
“The Tories are so trapped in a crisis of their own making over their botched Brexit negotiations that they are neglecting the needs of the country,” he said.
“Having delayed the introduction of several key policies, it’s clear that the Prime Minister is in office but not in power.”
The figures announced in the funding settlement are key for local authorities, according to a Local Government Association (LGA) spokesman, who said that UK money needed for vital community services was 'running out fast'. Councils have lost almost 60p out of every £1 the last Labour government spent on local services, with the the LGA estimating that the funding gap will reach £3.2bn by next year (2019/20).