Ashfield District Council to lose £2.1 million funding from next year

Up to £2.1 million is set to be cut from Ashfield District Council's budget in the next financial year.

The authority will not receive its revenue support grant from the government as of April 2020, which funded a third of the councils' services.

The Ashfield Independants say they will do all they can to protect and improve services

The Ashfield Independants say they will do all they can to protect and improve services

This means the council will need to find the cash to plug the gap, or lose services.

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The revenue support grant is a central government grant given to local authorities which can be used to finance services.

Councillor Jason Zadrozny, leader of Ashfield District Council said they would have to find creative ways to raise the revenue, in what will be a 'painful' year.

"The funding is the equivalent of 100 full time members of staff, so we've got to review everything," he said.

"We will be looking into putting a commercial investment plan in place, as we have few reserves that we inherited from the previous Labour administration."

Other sources of the councils' revenue are council tax, business rates and S106 money received from housing developers, which are often ringfenced.

"It will be a painful year, but the Ashfield Independants will do all we can to protect and improve services

"The loss of funding is a big drop, and there is nothing left to cut.

"It will be a challenging year to not put the burden on residents.

"Ironically, this funding is being cut at a time when people are moving to Universal Credit and becoming poorer, and need council services more than ever.

"We will have to be creative and find ways of raising the revenue without whacking up council tax."

If the council did raise council tax, they can only raise it by 3.9 per cent in a year, meaning Ashfield District Council could only raise up to £170,000 - not enough to make up for the cut.

Councillor Richard Watts from the Local Government Association told the BBC: "Some councils are facing a choice between using reserves to try and plug funding gaps or further cutting back local services in order to balance the books.

"This is unsustainable and does nothing to address the systemic underfunding that they face. Ongoing funding gaps are simply too big to be plugged by reserves."

After Northamptonshire County Council recorded a 91 per cent drop in reserves, they were forced to stop non-essential spending during 2017-18.