Bor­ough to miss out on £17m of Gov­ern­ment cash

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page -

HAL­TON Bor­ough Coun­cil will lose nearly £17m worth of Gov­ern­ment grants over the next four years as cuts con­tinue to take ef­fect.

The Gov­ern­ment has an­nounced the al­lo­ca­tion of grant fund­ing for coun­cils for the next fi­nan­cial year.

Up to 2019-20, the bor­ough will lose nearly 30% of its fund­ing from the Gov­ern­ment, with a pub­lic health grant for 2017-18 to be slashed by an ex­tra £264,000.

A coun­cil spokes­woman said that the Gov­ern­ment has also recog­nised that the cost of adult and chil­dren’s so­cial care is now ‘far higher’ than the avail­able fund­ing.

To meet the cri­sis, the bor­ough has been given a grant worth £642,000, but it will only be paid for one year.

Hal­ton Bor­ough Coun­cil leader Rob Pol­hill said: “Gov­ern­ment grant fund­ing is more im­por­tant in ar­eas such as Hal­ton which has far greater so­cial needs and in­creas­ing de­mand for coun­cil ser­vices.

“At the same time as the Gov­ern­ment is re­duc­ing Hal­ton’s grant fund­ing, in­fla­tion and in­creas­ing de­mand for coun­cil ser­vices means costs are ris­ing.

“The coun­cil will there­fore have to make bud­get sav­ings of around £33m over the same pe­riod up to 2019-20, in or­der to bal­ance its bud­get each year.”

Cllr Pol­hill said that by 2020, the bor­ough will have lost £63m – or 61% – of its Gov­ern­ment grant fund­ing over 10 years.

The cut equates to £503 per per­son in Run­corn, Widnes and Hale Vil­lage.

In ad­di­tion the Gov­ern­ment will al­low coun­cils from next to add 3% rather than the cur­rent 2% as a so­cial care pre­cept, which was in­tro­duced last year.

The pay­ment is an ad­di­tion ● to the coun­cil tax that pays for other ser­vices.

For Hal­ton, the ex­tra 1% charge will gen­er­ate £400,000 of ad­di­tional in­come to help de­liver ser­vices.

How­ever, the spokes­woman said that the short­fall in Hal­ton’s adult so­cial care fund­ing is es­ti­mated to be £4.5m.

Cllr Pol­hill added: “The an­nounce­ment of the 2017-18 grant set­tle­ment merely con­firmed that the se­vere re­duc­tions in Gov­ern­ment grant fund­ing for Hal­ton will con­tinue.ti

“The coun­cil con­tin­ues to work hard to find ways of min­imis­ing the im­pact of these fund­ing cuts upon es­sen­tial pub­lic ser­vices and to pro­tect the most vul­ner­a­ble in our com­mu­nity.”

Hal­ton will lose 30% Gov­ern­ment grants be­tween 2017-18

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