Sunday, 16 January 2022

Funding criticised

THE leader of South Oxfordshire District Council has criticised the amount of funding it will receive from the Government.

David Rouane said balancing the books in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic would be made harder.

He said: “Despite the Government’s claims of an overall increase in spending, this amounts to a cut in our finances in real terms.

“Councils like ours are working hard to balance their books, a job that is made significantly more difficult by government cuts and by the lack of any long-term clarity.

“It’s extremely disappointing to be in this position again and it’s really not clear how the Government expects councils to make medium- or long-term financial plans when it repeatedly provides one-year settlements, which it began doing long before the pandemic.”

Councillor Rouane said the settlement would not provide extra flexibility for councils to manage their own income through council tax.

Councillor David Bartholomew, a Conservative who represents Sonning Common, said: “A one-year financial settlement makes it difficult for local authorities to plan but I think the Government has given very good support with issues arising from covid.”

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