London Councils seeks Budget ‘support and stability’

With boroughs in the capital facing a £400m funding shortfall in the coming year, London Councils is pushing for the Budget to deliver increased support for town hall finances. 

Among its policy priorities, the cross-party group is reiterating its plea for an extension to the Household Support Fund, which is due to end this month. 

The fund, which was worth £137m to London local boroughs in 2023-24, enables councils to provide assistance to low-income residents struggling to make ends meet. 

Over the past year boroughs have used the fund to pay for 472,000 meals for children during the school holidays and to give emergency food support to 218,000 families across the capital. 

Housing and homelessness pressures also represent a major concern for London local government. Last week London Councils shared new analysis revealing that boroughs’ spending on temporary accommodation for homeless Londoners has risen to £90m per month – a figure boroughs describe as “unsustainable” and a “bankruptcy risk”. 

London Councils is urging the Chancellor to use the Budget to help stabilise local public services, protect the vulnerable from the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, and stimulate economic growth across all communities. 

Cllr Claire Holland, Deputy Chair of London Councils, said: 

“We’re looking to the Budget to boost support and stability for hard-pressed Londoners and the local services they rely on.

“Extending the Household Support Fund is a top priority. The life-changing impact of the fund is clear – but if the government brings this to an end there is no alternative funding stream. 

“Boroughs are grappling with immense financial pressures. On current government funding plans, London boroughs face a massive £400m shortfall in the coming year. The Chancellor should go further in ensuring councils have the resources they need to sustain local services and deliver the best possible results for London’s communities.”

More information on London Councils’ priorities for the Budget can be found here.

London Councils’ analysis of boroughs’ finance pressures and the need for local government funding reform can be found here.


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