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What they said: LGA

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This is the toughest local government finance settlement in living memory.

A few councils have seen a reduction in the money they receive from the Government of up to 17% in the first year. As a result councils face a total funding shortfall of £6.5bn over the next year.

We have been clear that the level of spending reduction that councils are going to have to make goes way beyond anything that conventional efficiency drives, such as shared services, can achieve. We have to face the fact that this level of grant reduction will inevitably lead to cuts in services.

The Government has recognised the impact the cuts will have on those areas of the country that rely most heavily on the public sector and has provided a limited amount of new money to help those areas cope.

However, it still remains the case that the cuts are frontloaded rather than spread evenly across the four years. Councils now face incredibly tough choices about the services they continue to provide and those they will have to cut.

It comes at a time when councils are seeing cost pressures mounting on services such as adult social care, child protection, waste management and flood defence.

Councils knew the cuts were coming and did all they could to prepare. We already cut more than £1bn from our budgets in the middle of this year. We will now pull out all the stops to minimise the impact of these cuts and build on our record of delivering new and better ways of doing things.

Baroness Margaret Eaton, chairman, Local Government Association

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