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Council leader David Finch responds to today's Queen's Speech

22 June 2017

Cllr David Finch said: “We welcome the priority given to social care reform in the Queen’s Speech today, which follows the announcement of a Green Paper in the Spring budget.

“As we have said many times before, the current system is financially unsustainable and the Government needs to utilise the knowledge of local authorities, including Essex County Council, to look at how we can create a long term solution.

“It is vital that any changes are based on means to pay, so that it is fair and affordable for our residents. The next step is to examine the detail of the Green Paper, what it covers, and how we can engage proactively with the consultation to create a system fit for the future.”

Cllr Finch added: “We are, however, very concerned that the critical issue of how local government is funded in the future has not been addressed. We want to know what the Government intends to do.

“We have saved £597 million over the last 7 years and are on track to save a further £106m by the end of 2017/18 because of our long-term financial prudence.

“Funding from central Government through the Revenue Support Grant has been cut by £44 million this year and will be phased out completely by 2020.

“We have long campaigned for business rates reform and will continue to lobby for all rates to be devolved to local councils as a way of funding services and driving economic growth.”