Council leader calls for more ‘realistic’ funding for Cambridgeshire

Cllr Lucy Nethsingha

Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, is calling on the government for more 'realistic' funding for Cambridgeshire. - Credit: Cambs County Council

Cllr Lucy Nethsingha, leader of Cambridgeshire County Council is calling on the Government for more ‘realistic’ funding and robust settlement for the county. 

Cambridgeshire continues to take a central role in managing the current effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Progress is being made towards closing a projected £19.5 million gap in the council’s budget for next year – despite growing levels of need leading to uncertainty. 

Members of the strategy and resources committee will hear an update on the council’s business plan on Tuesday November 2. 

It will set out how the council will spend the resources it has on delivering services to meet the vision and outcomes the council has agreed.  

Cllr Nethsingha said: “The financial settlement made by the Government for the pandemic last year was sufficient. 

“I’m calling on the Government once again to recognise that the situation is far from over and that councils such as Cambridgeshire, which all parties agree, have been consistently underfunded. 

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“We need a more robust and realistic funding formula, in addition to one-off grants which don’t help us manage long term issues.”  

The council is predicting long term increases and changes in the pattern of demand for its services, linked to the economic after effects of the pandemic. 

Additional cost is still being incurred as the council takes a central role fighting COVID-19, coordinating the public sector response, managing a complex public health situation and the impact on vulnerable people and children’s education. 

“Besides the pandemic, the other major risks and uncertainties in setting budgets for 2022-27 include the potential for national policy changes, such as the reform of social care funding,” said the council’s director of resources, Tom Kelly. 

“Also, the need for multi-year funding settlement from the Government, the availability and sustainability of supply chains and resources, and changing patterns of demand for our services that has been a longer-term trend.” 

The strategy and resources committee meeting in New Shire Hall will be streamed from 10am on November 2.