Our last report on local government finances found that the spending power of English local authorities was 26% lower in 2020-21 than it was in 2010-11. We also found government-funded spending power was over 50% lower.

The 2024-25 local government finance settlement provided a £4.5 billion increase in funding for local authorities compared to 2023-24. Yet local government is experiencing significant financial pressures, due in part to rising costs and increased demand across a range of services. Our report will focus on the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) as the responsible department for the core local government accountability framework for local authorities.


We will examine the current and future context for local government finances. Our report will look at:

  • the context of local government finances in 2024
  • the impact that local government finance is having on service delivery
  • the government’s approach to the local finance system in meeting current and future needs

NAO Team

Director: Vicky Davis
Audit Manager: Philip Taylor