Commenting on the announcement today by Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, of the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement for next year, David Hutton, Head of Local Government at law firm Bevan Brittan, said:

 “There is finally a degree of certainty about 2020-21 and the retention of business rates (75%). This builds on recent budget announcements and the Industrial Strategy that emphasised that place and economic growth were to be the key to the future sustainability of local government and communities. Further consultation on redistribution is to take place and the increased number of pilots is welcomed as is the stated desire to deal with negative Revenue Support Grant (RSG).

“Councils will welcome the ability to increase council tax by an additional 1% next year, should they wish to impose it locally. With the need for more homes already recognised and plans in place in many areas, this little financial uplift will help towards that.

“Overall, this is a provisional finance settlement that many have been waiting for to offer some clarity and for that reason most councils should welcome it.”