Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Surge in economic confidence fails to lift pessimism on services

  • 1 Comment

Senior council officers’ confidence in the UK’s economic prospects has surged despite a deepening pessimism that the proceeds of this growth will reach local services, exclusive LGC research reveals.

Our latest confidence survey of 238 council chiefs, directors and senior managers found net confidence that the UK economy would be stronger in a year’s time had rocketed from -57% just six months ago to 32% today.

Senior figures were also less concerned than six months ago about barriers to local growth and less likely to report difficulties in accessing investment.

They were less confident than ever that their services would share in the proceeds of the economic recovery.

Ninety-nine per cent of respondents said they did not believe their council was “over the worst” of the cuts, up from 95% six months ago.

Confidence that adult social care - the largest area of spend for many - would be protected from further cuts was -72%. In May this year, confidence that this service had so far been shielded was -19%.

Waste services, which according to LGC’s regular confidence barometer have been largely protected since 2010, also face being slashed.

Six months ago respondents gave a net confidence score of 20% that waste had been protected from cuts, but this month there was -56% confidence such protection would continue.

LGC’s research also found that most senior officers believed many residents had not yet experienced damaging reductions in services.

Eighty per cent of respondents said public satisfaction with their council’s services had stayed the same or improved since 2010.

The findings led LGA chair Sir Merrick Cockell (Con) to warn about the prospect of an electorally damaging “mismatch” between voters’ own financial situations and the quality of local services in the run-up to the 2015 general election.

“If the economy does accelerate and if people can feel it in their pocket, they will notice a mismatch between that and the reduction in local services they will also be experiencing,” he told LGC.

380 Confident that Nov 2013

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • The worst it yet to come for public services and this will have a negative impact on the recovery and the finances of the NHS. There has been a spate of large local authorities publish big cuts programmes recently. When these work through to services expect a bigger public reaction against austerity.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.