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Children’s Services: Funding - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:14 am on 10th May 2018.

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Photo of Lord Young of Cookham Lord Young of Cookham Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 11:14 am, 10th May 2018

I am glad that the figures are the same as the ones in the Written Answer given a few weeks ago. The noble Lord is right to say that, over the past eight or 10 years, local authorities have had to manage with fewer resources from the centre. I think that local authorities of all colours have done well to maintain good-quality services with access to reduced resources. They have done that by improving back-office services and front-line delivery. More recently, the Government have recognised that those constraints need to be relaxed: we have raised the cap on council tax increases to 3% before the referendum trigger is activated; we have put £2 billion into social care, taking some of the pressure off local authority services; and, as I said in my reply, we are putting more resources into the grant. On top on that, local authorities have access to £21 billion in reserves, up 47% since 2011. We believe that they now have the resources available to continue to provide good-quality services to children.