Ways and means: money management and power in local government

In the first of a series of reports, we look at how money is managed and where the power lies in local government

Report published on 8 May 2013 by Zach Wilcox

This first paper in our ‘City Money’ series, shows that, from now on, the amount of money a city has to spend will be more dependent on revenues directly generated by local economic growth.

Despite moves to devolve more powers to a local level, Whitehall still determines more than 60 per cent of local government budgets and sets rules on how they can spend their resources. Thus, local government has gained freedoms more in name than in practice.

Unless more is done to provide cities with the flexibilities and freedoms they need to raise revenue and prioritise spending, cities could be left in the precarious position of having more responsibility for their local finances without the tools that they need to grow them.