England’s councils are losing out on almost £11m of income ever day according to figures released by the Local Government Association.
The LGA, which represents all local authorities in England including the capital’s borough councils, says town halls have suffered a £4bn drop in income because of the recession.
Estimates based on LGA research suggest that income from the sale of land and council buildings has fallen by £2.7bn since 2007/08 and that interest earned on councils’ cash deposits has fallen by £1.3bn over the same period.
The Association says that despite the decrease in revenues local authorities continue to target resources at helping taxpayers get through the recession.
A survey of 202 council leaders show that one in five councils is providing local people with help with their mortgage payments and eight in ten have concentrated resources on ensuring local people receive take up of the benefits they are eligible for.
Sir Jeremy Beecham, Vice-Chairman of the LGA, said: “At this time of repossessions and redundancies, even more people need the vital support that only councils can provide. Town halls are taking decisive action to protect local people and businesses from the worst effects of the recession. They are helping to keep people in their own homes, offering support to the unemployed and helping small companies stay afloat.”
Beecham also promised action to help train young people for work, commenting: “Young people are being hit particularly hard by the recession, with hundreds of thousands finding themselves unemployed and not in any kind of training. The LGA has committed to working with local authorities to increase the number of council apprenticeships by 7,500.”