Jane Stevenson, MP for Wolverhampton North East, has welcomed news that Wolverhampton Council will get a budget boost of £11 million next year, a 4.6% increase.
The announcement is part of the Government’s commitment to level up services across the country and give them the resources they need to support their communities as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
Local authorities in England, including Wolverhampton, will receive a share of £51.2 billion in local government funding next year, which is up by £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.
The Government confirmed this week the Local Government Finance Settlement, which sets out how much councils have to spend on 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.
Now Jane is urging Wolverhampton Council to take this extra funding into consideration before deciding any increases to council tax next year that go above the 3% increase for adult social care.
Councils with responsibility for adult social care are able to set a 3% council tax increase, ring-fenced exclusively for adult social care. But local residents have the power to veto excessive council tax rises, with a referendum being required if councils propose raising the tax by an additional 2% or more. Last year Wolverhampton Council increased council tax bills by 4.99%, the maximum allowed before being required to hold a referendum.
Jane said: “I am delighted that Wolverhampton Council will get an additional £11 million next year from the Government, to help them make positive changes in our city. Local authorities play a vital role in our communities, providing crucial services that people rely on every day.
“This increase is equivalent to an extra 4.6% for the city council’s budget, and therefore I would encourage the council to take this into consideration before deciding whether to raise council tax bills next year.
“This has been a difficult year for all of us, and I’m pleased that the Government has provided unprecedented levels of funding to Wolverhampton Council so that they can continue to provide vital services throughout the pandemic.”
Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick MP 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.”