HEREFORDSHIRE is set to benefit from a £9.9 million boost in funding after the biggest increase in councils’ spending power for a decade was confirmed by the Local Government Secretary.

The Government confirmed councils in England will have access to a share of £49.2 billion in 2020/2021, an increase of £2.9 billion or 4.4 per cent in real-terms, following a vote in the House of Commons this week. The funding for Herefordshire represents a 6.1 per cent increase on the previous year.

The settlement will give Herefordshire Council access to an extra £3.4 million in social care grant and ensure, on average, residents can expect to see the lowest increase in council tax bills since 2016.

Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “This Government is committed to levelling up every part of the country, investing in every region and giving communities control over making the decisions which are right for them.

“That’s why we’re confirming the biggest increase in councils’ spending power for a decade across England, while protecting residents from excessive rises in council tax.”

Provisional plans for the Local Government Finance Settlement for 2020/21 were published in December, followed by a period of consultation with the sector. This included the consideration of more than 200 representations across technical and provisional consultations from a range of organisations, and ministers met representative groups including local councils, MPs and the Local Government Association.

The settlement makes £1.5 billion of new funding available for adult and children’s social care, supporting local authorities to meet rising demand, fund more care home places and social workers and protect the most vulnerable in society.

The package includes £1 billion of new grant funding, a continuation of all existing social care grants, and the ability for authorities to raise up to £500 million more for adult social care, where needed.

In total, local authorities will have access to almost £6 billion of dedicated funding across adults and children’s social care in 2020/21.