Redefining neighbourhoods: A future beyond austerity?
Commissioned by: Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE)
Neighbourhood services are universal services. The public sees them as the core function of local government.
Since 2010/11, neighbourhood services have been the hardest hit of all local government services, taking a shrinking share of a shrinking budget.
Over this period, the worst hit neighbourhood services in England have had spending cut by a half. Many have seen cuts of at least a quarter.
The most deprived local authorities in England have seen the biggest falls.
Across the UK, austerity has weighed more heavily on local government than central government. In eight years, local government spending will have dropped from two thirds of that of central government’s to half.
The dismantling of neighbourhood services that is taking place marks a profound change in what local government is and does. These services need defending in their own right, as part of wider defence of local government as a whole.