The government has amended the local authority grant settlement in ways which help both Wokingham and West Berkshire Councils. I lobbied the Minister on behalf of our local Councils, and supported submissions they then made to the government for fairer treatment. Wokingham will receive an extra £2.1 m next year and West Berkshire an extra £1.4m as a result.
The government said in general terms: “There will be a transitional grant of £150 million in 2016/17 and 2017/18 to reduce cuts to councils with the sharpest reductions in government grant during the most difficult first two years, and the Rural Services Delivery Grant will increase more than fivefold from £15.5 million this year to £80.5 million in 2016/17. This ensures that the government funding gap per head does not grow in the year of the statutory settlement and means that alongside the transitional grant that is £93.2 million extra for rural areas compared with the provisional settlement in 2016/17.
There will be no negative grant for any council in 2017/18 or 2018/19. By 2019/20 100% business rate retention will have come in, informed by the Fair Funding Review. There will also be a £5 de minimis council tax increase allowed for the smallest most economical councils, and a consultation on uprating planning fees in line with inflation.”