The National Audit Office report ” Financial Stability of Local Authorities 2018″ published yesterday highlights the pressure on Local Authorities in England following a 49.1% real term reduction in government funding for local authorities between 2010/11 and 2017/18 and, in particular, the additional pressures on those authorities with social care responsibilities. It is also mildly critical of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s approach to local Government funding and it makes recommendations on possible improvement to cross Government approaches, monitoring and policy development.
The key facts on page 4 are well worth noting, the summary pages 5 to 13 are worth at least scanning and, if nothing else, pages 30/31 and page 41 of the main report should be read as they contain tables with direct relevance to tourism support. These tables indicate a reduced by c 50% (48.1% or £83 m between 2010/11 and 2016/17) in local authority expenditure on “tourism”, £67 m arts and heritage development and so on.
Those who fully understand the nature of the wider local authority roles and engagement within tourism and the visitor economy will of course appreciate that many of the other service areas covered in figure 10 on pages 30 and 31, from culture and heritage, through economic development, to licensing and street cleaning also impact directly on the quality of place and the quality of product and, thus, on the ability of popular destinations to continue to function successfully within a highly competitive domestic and international tourism and leisure markets. Sadly, all of these other areas have also seen significant reduction in the funding available to support the necessary service provision.
The report can be found in our research and statistic library at: