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Most councils report income falls

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Three in four English councils have seen the amount of money they collect to pay for front line services drop in recent months, according to new research.

A raft of income streams have been squeezed including council tax and rent, the sale of assets and planning applications, according to the research by the Local Government Association and its partners.

Seventy three per cent of councils told the LGA they have had to revise their budget position in the light of the recession.

LGA chairman Margaret Eaton said: “From seeing an increased demand for services such as free school meals, to seeing a drop in the money they can collect and therefore spend, councils are facing tough times but are determined to deliver for local people.

“The recession is going to hit different parts of the country in very different ways and even within individual regions there are marked differences as to how local areas could fare.”

Survey Findings

  • 83% report loss in income from fees and charges such as planning applications

  • 26% report increase in demand for services such as free school meals

  • 24% report drop in income from council tax and rent collection

  • 66% report drop in the interest they receive on deposits

  • 66% report fall in money received from the sale of assets such as land and buildings

  • 39% report drop in expected income from Section 106 agreements

The survey was sent to all 388 chief executives of local authorities in England on 10 November. At the close (30 November), 155 (39.9%) had responded.

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