The local government finance settlement for 2019-20 confirmed a real-terms increase in resources available to local authorities. I am pleased to say that the hon. Lady’s own local council, Wigan, will see its core spending power increase by £4.6 million in this financial year.
Under this Government, Wigan Council has seen £160 million taken from its budget—that is £160 million less to spend every single year. With children’s services as a top immediate pressure, how do the Government intend to respond to my local authority when it has to deliver services to some of our most vulnerable children without the funding that is so desperately needed?
The recent Budget provided more than £400 million for children’s services but, beyond money, it is important to note that it is quality of leadership that makes the difference in providing for vulnerable children. The hon. Lady’s own council recently won a prestigious award for being the best council in the country, and its leader remarked that
“we are still able to give residents first class care”.