Delivering our ambitions
As an authority, we must continue to ensure we are an organisation fit for the future, in order to deliver on our commitments and fulfil our strategic leadership role. That is why we have set ourselves such an ambitious and challenging strategy for the next four years.
Our financial outlook and challenges
The way in which councils are funded has changed dramatically over the last decade, with big reductions in the level of funding we receive from Central Government.
In October 2021, the Chancellor announced the outcome of the Spending Review, which will cover the next 3 years (2022-23 to 2024-25), with local government set to receive an additional £1.6bn in grant funding in each year - £4.8bn over the period.
Whilst we do not yet know the outcome of the Fair Funding Review for Local Government, we expect to see further significant changes, including a review of the way business rates are calculated. This would mean that future funding would be more closely linked to growth in the local economy, including online sales activity, than has previously been the case.
We are also likely to see more of a ‘whole system’ approach to funding, such as through the roll out of ‘Integrated Care Systems’ with the NHS. Many of our priority projects and programmes rely on funding from national schemes, limited funding pots or from partners such as Highways England, Homes England and our District authorities. These will require joint resources and strategic leadership to deliver.
The three-year settlement means our finances are currently on a more stable footing than the last few years, but uncertainties remain in the economy and the long term impact of COVID-19, so efficiencies will continue to be necessary to ensure good value for money for Gloucestershire.