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Planning news – 6 January 2022: English councils to share £53.9bn in funding

by on January 6, 2022

Our planning news is published in association with ThePlanner, the official magazine of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

English councils to share £53.9bn in funding

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has announced that councils in England will receive £53.9 billion in funding for the 2022/23 financial year. This includes £554 million through the New Homes Bonus.

The government said the packages represent the “largest cash-terms increase” in grant funding for 10 years. An extra £3.5 billion is available compared with 2021/22

The funding includes £822 million for councils to spend as they choose on local needs

Alongside aiding councils to deliver vital services, the funding is intended to support councils in playing a “significant role” in the government’s levelling up agenda. Also, the government said the settlement will protect residents from “excessive” council tax increases. From next year, the amount council tax can be increased by without a vote has been reduced to 2 per cent, with an extra 1 per cent for councils with adult social care responsibilities.

Levelling-up secretary Michael Gove said: “Councils continue to deliver for their communities and have a major role to play in our central mission of levelling up the country.

“Today’s (16 December) funding package represents a real-terms increase from last year’s settlement and will make sure councils can improve vital frontline services, support vulnerable people and protect residents from excessive council tax rises as we build back better from the pandemic.”

The Provisional Finance Settlement includes £554 million through the New Homes Bonus for 2022/23. This brings the total amount of New Homes Bonus funding to £10 billion. The government said the bonus has seen more than 2.3 million additional homes being built, 560,000 of which were affordable.

The government added that it remains committed to reforming the New Homes Bonus to improve how housing growth is incentivised. It will publish its response to the consultation on the New Homes Bonus “in the coming months”.

The £85 million Rural Service Delivery Grant will continue to be provided.

16 December 2021
Laura Edgar, The Planner

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