Guidance

Exceptional financial support for local authorities

Details of support granted to local authorities that have requested exceptional financial support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applies to England

Documents

Bexley capitalisation direction

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Copeland capitalisation direction

Croydon capitalisation direction 2020-21

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Eastbourne capitalisation direction 2020-21

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Luton capitalisation direction

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Nottingham capitalisation direction

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Peterborough capitalisation direction

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Wirral capitalisation direction 2020-21

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Details

Since 2020, the government has given considerable support to the local government sector to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as a result of particular local circumstances, a small number of local authorities approached the government for exceptional financial support to help them address financial pressures that the considered unmanageable.

Government therefore agreed to provide additional financial support to these authorities on an exceptional basis, and on the condition that each council was subject to an external assurance review on their financial position (apart from Nottingham City Council and Croydon Council which were both subject to non-statutory external reviews during 2020).

The external assurance reviews were published in 2021 and provided a detailed assessment of each authority’s financial position and financial management, with clear recommendations on where the authority needs to take action to improve. In the case of 3 authorities (Peterborough, Slough and Wirral), the external assurance reviews looked at both their financial position and wider governance arrangements, focusing on the authorities’ ability to deliver a plan for financial sustainability with policies and procedures in place to ensure robust decision making and accountability.

The capitalisation directions published above relate to support for the financial years 2020-21 and 2021-22. A small number of authorities have also requested support in relation to unmanageable pressures in 2022-23. In these cases, the government has agreed support in principle subject to continued progress on their improvement and updates on their financial position during 2022-23. The final amount of support may therefore be subject to change and the government will publish a final outcome in due course.

The government’s approach to the 2021-22 capitalisation directions and to in-principle agreements for 2022-23 reflect the findings and recommendations from relevant external assurance reviews. As indicated below, a small number of authorities who originally requested additional financial support for 2021-22 have since withdrawn their requests where their financial position and pressures have changed. In all cases the government has set a clear expectation that authorities respond effectively to the challenges and recommendations highlighted in the external assurance reviews, and provide regular updates to the government on progress.

Authorities that have requested support for 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23

Local authority Support agreed for 2020-21 In-principle support agreed for 2021-22 Support agreed for 2021-22 In-principle support agreed for 2022-23
Croydon £70.0m £50.0m £50.0m £25.0m
Slough £127.8m (support agreed in-principle including prior year requests to 2018-19) £15.2m £95.3m (support agreed in-principle) £84.1m

Authorities that have requested support for 2020-21 and 2021-22

Local authority Support agreed for 2020-21 In-principle support agreed for 2021-22 Support agreed for 2021-22
Bexley £3.9m (capitalisation not utilised) £5.1m Council no longer expects to require support for 21/22
Eastbourne £6.8m £6.0m £4.4m
Luton £35.0m £14.0m Council no longer expects to require support for 21/22
Nottingham £20.0m £15.0m Council no longer expects to require support for 21/22
Peterborough £4.8m (capitalisation not utilised) £20.0m Council no longer expects to require support for 21/22
Wirral £9.0m £10.7m £6.4m

Authorities that have requested support for 2021-22 and 2022-23

Local authority In-principle support agreed for 2021-22 Support agreed for 2021-22 In-principle support agreed for 2022-23
Copeland £1.5m £1.5m £1.5m

Authorities that requested support for 2020-21 only

Local authority Support agreed for 2020-21
Redcar and Cleveland £3.7m
Published 10 February 2021
Last updated 24 November 2022 + show all updates
  1. Added Wirral capitalisation direction 2021-22.

  2. Added: Copeland capitalisation direction

  3. Added Croydon and Eastbourne capitalisation directions for 2021-22.

  4. Added governance reviewer appointment letters (Peterborough, Wirral & Slough).

  5. Added Redcar and Cleveland grant determination.

  6. Added Croydon and Nottingham capitalisation directions.

  7. Added Wirral capitalisation direction

  8. First published.