Councils are to be given greater flexibility over how to spend £7bn of central government grants, according to national newspaper reports.
The Times reports the number of ring fenced grants will be slashed from 90 down to just ten in the spending review, a move Liberal Democrat sources described as “the most radical decentralisation in recent times”.
The Financial Times said the move would be perceived by critics as foisting the responsibility of what to cut onto local government.
The news follows communities secretary Eric Pickles announcing plans earlier this year to de-ringfence £1.7bn of specific grants.
But, as LGC revealed, the small print showed ministers had fallen £500m short of their target when they presented a comprehensive list of which grants would be included.
Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that ministers are to try and deflect attention away from large cuts by announcing a number of significant capital projects have been saved from the axe.
London’s £16bn Crossrail project, the Mersey Gateway bridge, the Thames Gateway bridge, and a £230m project to help two million rural communities get access to broadband will all be given the green light, the paper said.