Local government will play a critical role in making a success of Brexit at the local level. My Department is committed to ensuring councils have the support and the funding they need to prepare for an orderly exit from the EU and do appropriate contingency planning.
Today I am announcing an additional £56.5 million to help councils carry out their preparations.
Councils will receive £20 million this financial year as well as £20 million to spend in the next financial year to fund additional planning and capacity. Across the two years, all district councils will receive £35,000, all county councils will receive £175,000, all unitaries will receive £210,000 and all combined authorities will receive £182,000.
£1.5 million will be allocated in 2018/19 only to local authorities facing immediate impacts from local ports, with details of the allocation and distribution of that funding to be announced shortly.
I am retaining £10 million for allocation during 2019/20 to respond to specific local costs that may only become evident in the months after we exit the EU.
Finally, £5 million will be split between teams in my Department and the local government sector for specific purposes such as strengthening resilience preparations and supporting communities.
This funding will help councils to adapt to changes caused by Brexit, while still protecting vital local services.
This will not be the only resources councils receive to fund Brexit costs. Government has been clear that Departments will assess and, if appropriate, fund any potential new burdens arising on councils as part of EU Exit work they are undertaking.
As for councils’ overall funding, the provisional finance settlement which I announced before Christmas provides extra funding, with the confirmation that Core Spending Power is forecast to increase from £45.1 billion in 2018-19 to £46.4 billion in 2019-20. This amounts to a cash increase of 2.8 per cent and a real-terms increase in resources available to local authorities. I will be returning to this House shortly, following consultation, to announce the final settlement.
Table of overall funding allocations:
Upfront funding for all councils*
Authorities affected by ports
Retained for specific local costs which arise
Split between Departmental teams and local government sector
* Division by type of authority shown in table below
Table showing split of £40m upfront funding by type of authority:
Combined Authorities (11 including London (GLA))
* Unitary authorities will receive the sum of the county and district allocations. Metropolitan Boroughs and London Boroughs are unitary authorities.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords