Local Government Finance: Ealing

Department for Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 16th December 2014.

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Photo of Angie Bray Angie Bray Conservative, Ealing Central and Acton

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how much the London Borough of Ealing receives annually in total government grant; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Kris Hopkins Kris Hopkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Holding answer received on 05 December 2014

In 2014-15, the London Borough of Ealing is forecast to receive £421 million in government grants, excluding mandatory housing benefits. Including mandatory housing benefits, the forecast is £701 million (source: Revenue Account Budget returns).

Total grants (excluding mandatory housing benefits) are forecast to be equivalent to £3,224 per dwelling, which is in the top twenty highest grants to any local authority in England. Ealing residents will also benefit from funding given to the Greater London Authority for its statutory functions (e.g. police, fire, transport, strategic housing and planning). The Greater London Authority is forecast to receive £4.5 billion in government grant, equivalent to a London average of £1,311 per dwelling in 2014-15. Taken together, this is equivalent to £4,535 per dwelling in Ealing.

Leaving aside school spending which has changed due to the funding shift from Local Education Authorities to Academies, in 2014-15, Ealing’s net current expenditure excluding education services is forecast to be £541 million (source: Revenue Account Budget returns). This compares with £450 million in 2009-10 (source: Revenue Outturn Summary returns). This represents a 20 per cent increase in cash terms.

I am aware that the local council leader is claiming that Ealing’s funding will be cut to £5 million in 2018. Not only is this manifestly untrue given no funding settlement has been determined beyond 2015-16, but the figures above illustrate how council services actually remain well funded. Of course, every bit of the public sector needs to do its bit to pay off the deficit left by the last Labour Government, including local government which accounts for a quarter of all public spending. Yet the claims in some parts of the local government sector about “cuts” are completely over-stated and actually mislead the public.

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