Local Government Finance

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:27 pm on 22nd February 2017.

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Photo of Sajid Javid Sajid Javid The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 3:27 pm, 22nd February 2017

My hon. Friend leads me directly to my next point, which is about ensuring that we all recognise that more money for adult social care is not the only answer. We want every area to move towards integration of health and social care services by 2020, so that it feels much more like one service. I welcome what I believe is a consensus on both sides of the House that we will need to develop reforms to make social care more sustainable and effective for everyone in the long term, so my hon. Friend’s point—that as we work towards integration, would should look at how we can best encourage that—is an important one.

Another key area concerns the fair funding review, through which we are devising a new funding formula for local government. It is nearly a decade since the current formula was looked at thoroughly. Some parts of it date back as far as 1991, when the Prime Minister was an up and coming young councillor. It is fair to say that a few things have changed since then: the demographic make-up of many areas has altered radically; an ageing population means that demand for different services has shifted; and we are entering a world in which local government spending is funded by local resources, not central grants. We are undertaking a fair funding review to thoroughly consider how to introduce a more up-to-date, more transparent and fairer needs assessment formula. It is vital that the new formula delivers, so we are working closely with local government to get it right.