There was some good news in the budget for local government. The Chancellor gave some money to fill in potholes. Adult social care saw an injection of £650 million. There was also cash given to regenerate the High Streets.
So there have been a few early Christmas presents. However, instead of these headline grabbing measures, the government needs to seriously address the long-term systematic funding problems being experienced.
Council finances are generally in such a parlous state that any extra money is welcome, but trying to plug holes in a few specific areas is not a long-term solution.
The Chancellor’s room for manoeuvre in the budget was always going to be limited but what we saw was a government waking up to a financial crisis in local authority services but with no real idea what to do about it.