The Conservative / Liberal Democrat coalition government has today published details of its plans to reduce the ring-fencing restrictions around how local government can spend money.
The timing is rather double-edged; giving more control over their own finances to local councils has long been a Liberal Democrat demand, but there’s no doubt that Eric Pickles will also have been attracted by the idea of making councils decide where to make future cuts.
Even so, it’s a step in the right direction.
The overall effect is a:
Reduction in revenue and capital non-schools ring-fencing this year from 10.7 per cent (£4.5bn) to only 7.7 per cent (£3.2bn) as a first step to giving councils more freedom over spending decisions.
In detail that means:
Youth Opportunity Fund
Think Family Grant
Challenge and Support Funding
Learning Disability Campus Closure Programme
Bus Challenge and Kickstart
Animal Health and Welfare Enforcement
Waste Management Pilots
Fair Play Pathfinders
Fair Play Playbuilders
Innovation in Extracare Housing Grant
Capital Investment for Transformation in Adult Social Care Grant
Common Assessment Framework
Social Care IT Infrastructure
NEXUS (Tyne and Wear Metro)
Green Bus Fund
Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management
Coastal Change Pathfinders
Housing Market Renewal