Social services set for grant boost

Councils with education and social services
responsibilities will receive at least a 4 per cent increase in
next year’s local government finance settlement, secretary for
Local Government, Transport and the Regions Stephen Byers said this

Announcing the provisional settlement for
2002-3, Byers said the government grant and business rates support
will be increased by £3.3bn to a total of £47.3bn,
guaranteeing councils an increase matching inflation, with most
receiving more.

But he warned that money alone would not be
enough to secure the desired improvements in public services,
adding: “The extra funding must drive forward change. It must
ensure that our programme of modernisation and reform is
implemented. We must invest in reform and insist on raising
standards, providing choice and improving quality.”

Councils and local government bodies now have
a six-week consultation period on the proposals to make their cases
to government.

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