Worcester MP, Robin Walker, has welcomed the Government’s announcement that Worcestershire County Council will see its budget boosted by 5.3 per cent next year, as part of the Conservatives’ commitment to level up local services across the country and give them the resources they need to support their communities as we recover from the pandemic.

Local authorities in England, including Worcestershire County Council, will receive a share of £51.2 billion local government funding next year – up £2.2 billion on this year. Funding for key public services will again be protected, with significant extra resources dedicated to areas where they are needed most. Thanks to the investment being made by the Conservatives, Worcestershire will have an extra £20.27 million to spend next year.

The local government finance settlement sets out how much councils have to spend vital local services each year, including social care which will see a £1 billion increase in funding next year as a result of the announcement. In total, local authorities across England will receive an extra £5 billion in support next year, including a further £1.55 billion in additional grant funding to cover costs relating to the pandemic and an extra £670 million to help families facing hardship with their council tax bills.

This is on top of the more than £7.2 billion in additional funding given to local areas throughout the pandemic so far to protect vital services that have kept vulnerable people and communities safe.

Commenting, Robin said:  

“Local authorities play a vital role in our communities, providing the crucial local services that people rely on every day. Worcester residents will benefit as their county council will have an additional £20 million in funding this year thanks to the Government. These funds will help our local leaders make positive change in the area.

“This builds on the significant funding boost the council received at the beginning of the year, underlying our determination to ensure all local authorities have the resources they need to drive forward our recovery in a way that works for our community as we build back better after the pandemic.”

Commenting, Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said:  

“Councils have played a critical role leading their communities during the pandemic and delivering vital local services to vulnerable people and we have supported them with £7.2 billion extra funding to date.

“That’s why I am announcing a financial package that will provide over £5 billion of extra support next year. This will give councils the resources they need to lead the recovery of their communities while delivering the services that people rely on.”

Thanks to measures introduced by the Conservatives, taxpayers in Worcester now have a stronger voice over council tax rises than ever before.

This means local residents have the power to veto excessive council tax rises, with a referendum being required if councils propose raising the tax by 2% or more; Councils with responsibility for adult social care will be able to set a further 3% increase, ring-fenced exclusively for adult social care. Anything above this level will also need to be voted on by local people. This strikes the right balance between addressing pressure on services and giving council-tax payers the final say on excessive increases.