An £8 billion black hole by 2025 could swallow up popular - but discretionary - council services, local government leaders have warned.
Just to stand still and deliver the same services currently being provided today - which have already been significantly cut in the last decade - the Local Government Association (LGA) estimates that councils would need an additional £8billion more than they are expected to have by 2024-25.
The organisation has launched a campaign to influence the forthcoming Spending Review by warning about the growing risk to vital local services if the Government does not take action to secure the financial sustainability of councils.
But the LGA also said that, with the right funding and powers, councils can continue to lead their local areas, improve residents' lives, reduce demand for public services and save money for the taxpayer.
Between 2010 and 2020, councils will have lost almost 60p out of every £1 the Government had provided for services.
The LGA's chairman, Lord Porter, a Conservative, said: "The money local government has to provide vital services is running out fast and huge uncertainty remains about how councils will pay for services into the next decade and beyond.
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