Cash-strapped councils are have warned that without investments of up to £10billion from the Government then vital services could face even more cuts.
The Local Government Association has warned that councils in England will face a funding gap of more than £5 billion by 2024 if they keep spending and support for services at the current level.
But they say that figure could double amid the huge economic and societal uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many councils were in a difficult financial position before the virus hit after a decade of austerity.
So ahead of the Government’s planned comprehensive spending review has called on Rishi Sunak to provide an additional £10.1 billion per year in core funding to councils in England by 2023/24.
In addition to £5.4billion just to keep support levels the same as they are today, the LGA are asking for an extra £1.9 billion for services struggling under increased demand – like children’s social care and homelessness services.
Cllr James Jamieson, LGA Chairman, said: “The pandemic has shone a light on the highly valued services councils provide – including public health, adult social care, children’s services, homelessness support, and help for those in financial hardship.
“Councils are focused on supporting communities through this crisis and beyond as we look to rebuild our economy, get people back to work and level up inequalities. That is why the first Comprehensive Spending Review in more than a decade will shape the direction of this country for years to come.
“Securing the immediate and long-term sustainability of local services must be the top priority.
“The ambition of councils goes way beyond just maintaining services the way they are today. We want to create new hope in our communities. With the right funding and freedoms, councils can improve the lives of their residents, address the stark inequalities the pandemic has exposed, develop a green recovery, address skills gaps and rebuild the economy so that it benefits everyone.”