Pothole warning as social care eats up councils’ cash

Highways Reporters

Council-maintained roads look set to deteriorate after council leaders claimed that by 2020 almost 60p in every pound of council tax revenue could be spent on social care.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said that as a result less funding will be available for other services. For example just 5p in every pound could be spent on improving roads and streetlighting, and 2p in the pound on bus services.

Analysis published by the LGA ahead of the Autumn Budget forecasts that for every pound of council tax collected by councils 56p could be spent on caring for the elderly, vulnerable adults and children. This is up from 41p in 2010/11.

Howard Robinson, chief executive of the Road Surface Treatments Association (RSTA) said: ‘The result will be more poorly maintained roads and more potholes.

‘Local government in England faces a £5.8bn funding gap by 2020. The Government must recognise that councils cannot continue without sufficient resources that enable adequate funding for all areas of council services.

‘The local road network is a council’s most important asset yet they are forced to ransack their highways budget to fund other services.’

The LGA said that by 2020, local government in England will have lost 75% of the Revenue Support Grant funding that it received in 2015. Almost half of all councils (168) – will no longer receive any of this central government funding by 2019/20.

It pointed out that Government plans to allow councils to keep 100% of business rates income by the end of the decade are in doubt after the Local Government Finance Bill, which was passing through Parliament before the election, was not reintroduced in the Queen’s Speech.

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