Funding increase for Milton Keynes Council is welcomed by city MPs

MPs Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart
MPs Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart

On Wednesday, parliament approved the funding settlement for English local authorities that will see an increase in available resources over the next two years.

The settlement gives councils additional financial freedoms to deliver services for their most vulnerable residents while protecting council tax payers from excessive increases in their bills.

For the coming financial year (2018/2019), Milton Keynes will have Core Spending Power of £180.4 million - an increase of £1.5 million.

The communities secretary announced the extra funding to help local authorities meet the needs of vulnerable people and support services in rural areas.

Following representations from local Members of Parliament on the provisional funding plans announced in December, a further £150 million will be available to those councils providing Adult Social Care.

In addition, £16 million will be made available to councils providing services in rural areas, taking the total Rural Services Grant to £81 million - the highest it has ever been and a recognition of the cost of providing local services in sparsely populated areas.

For Milton Keynes, this additional funding amounts to £600k.

Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid said: “Parliament has approved a settlement that strikes a balance between relieving growing pressure on local government whilst ensuring that hard-pressed taxpayers do not face excessive bills. We have listened to representations made and delivered on these requests: two years of real terms increases in resources, more freedom and fairness, and greater certainty to plan and secure value for money.”

Local MPs Mark Lancaster and Iain Stewart welcomed the settlement, saying: “We know Milton Keynes Council, like all other areas of the public sector have had to make tough decisions in recent years, but this additional funding will help invest in local priorities.

“The Labour Council are for the fourth year in a row planning to raise Council tax by the maximum possible, with the additional funding settlement residents will be watching to ensure it’s put into improving local services, not wasted.”