North Yorkshire welcomes funding increase

This story was published 27 October 2021

North Yorkshire has welcomed the multi-billion increase in grant funding for local government in today’s spending review and Budget.

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced this afternoon that councils are to receive grant funding increases worth £4.8bn over the next three years, amounting to £1.6bn per annum.

“This announcement provides welcome relief to the financial pressures faced by councils like ours who provide adult social care and have pulled out all the stops to support people during Covid-19,” said Carl Les, North Yorkshire County Council’s Leader.

“It also gives us an opportunity to plan ahead with our spending.  The challenges ahead are many and this increase in spending does not mean we are out of the woods as the pressures we face, particularly in adult social care and in children’s special educational needs, continue to increase at a rate greater than everybody anticipated. 

“Social care costs will continue to rise, and there is a desperate need to recruit more care staff to meet the needs of our residents. But this extra grant funding is a much-needed fillip.

“We must of course wait for the detail but on the face of it this is better than we were expecting and I am pleased the Chancellor has recognised the pressures and is working with us to address these.”

The Chancellor also announced a 3pc increase in core spending power, although this depends on councils increasing council tax by 2pc with a 1pc adult social care precept increase.

Cllr Les has also welcomed funding for specific projects announced today which will bring benefit to the county as part of the government’s wider support for levelling up across the UK.

These include:

  • £2.6 billion for local road upgrades over this Parliament including the A59 Kex Gill in North Yorkshire.
  • £31 million investment through the Transforming Cities Fund to improve stations and walking and cycling access in Selby, Skipton and Harrogate.
  • £5 billion for Project Gigabit, rolling out gigabit capable broadband for homes and businesses across the UK.
  • £171 million of local roads maintenance funding between 2022-23 and 2024-25

“This funding for the county’s infrastructure will no doubt help towards our ambitions in attracting business and inward investment into our rural communities” said Cllr Les.  “When the Government considers its Levelling Up agenda it must also consider the future of rural areas and the great contribution they can make to the nation’s prosperity”.