Edition 3: The Future of Discretionary Services?

NLGN’s Leadership Index provides insights into the level of confidence on key issues affecting local government, based on the perception of council leaders, mayors and chief executives.

The latest results reveal councils’ diminishing confidence in their power and resources to deliver services and in the broader economic, social and environmental health of their area. Libraries, parks and museums could face further cuts and closures, with most local authorities saying that they may be unable to provide discretionary services within five years.

Key findings include:

  • Only one third of councils feel they will financially be able to provide discretionary services beyond 2023.
  • Councils with social care responsibilities are facing the biggest struggles, with 88% reporting that they will be unable to deliver more than statutory services in five years’ time.
  • Confidence in the delivery of all service areas has fallen, particularly in adult social care and children’s services.
  • Respondents from the South East (excluding London) are twice as confident that residents in their area had a sufficient income to achieve a decent standard of living than those in the North East of England.

The Leadership Index survey includes 12 recurring questions across three key themes – economy, society and environment – and a series of topical questions which focus on current events affecting local government.

The full results of the survey can be downloaded HERE.

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