Larger authorities to lose government cash

Local government reorganisation will cost metropolitan
authorities and London boroughs £5.5 million next year,
according to the Association of Metropolitan Authorities.

Start-up costs of smaller unitaries are to be cushioned by
recalculated standard spending assessments by the Department of

But the AMA has discovered the effect will be quite
considerable, although only Avon, Cleveland, Humberside and North
Yorkshire will be affected by reorganisation in April 1996.

Five metropolitan authorities will lose more than £300,000
from their social services SSAs: London Borough of Lambeth will
lose £413,000; London Borough of Hackney, £323,000;
Birmingham, £309,000; London Borough of Southwark,
£305,000 and Manchester £300,000.

‘These are inner-city areas not known for being flush,’ said
Denise Platt, AMA under-secretary of social services.

‘It is affecting some of the most deprived areas of the country.
The government should provide additional funds to resource its
reorganisation plan, rather than redistributing existing resources
from hard-pressed authorities,’ she said.

New unitaries felt their SSAs would not meet their commitments
and thought they were inheriting difficulties, Platt added. ‘This
means the new North Yorkshire and Humberside unitaries will receive
SSAs next year 8 per cent greater than the original county
received,’ said Platt.

The AMA is pressing for compensation and will raise the issue at
a meeting with junior health minister John Bowis later this

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