Swingeing cuts on cards as councils in England face funding crisis, watchdog warns

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At least 25 councils nearly bankrupt as Covid puts pressure on finances, says National Audit Office

Residents face years more swingeing cuts to local services, from social care to libraries, bin collections and bus routes, as at least 25 councils teeter on the brink of bankruptcy, the public spending watchdog has warned.

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According to the National Audit Office, the vast majority of English councils (94%) expect to cut spending next year to meet legal duties to balance their budgets. The “scarring” of council balance sheets since the coronavirus pandemic began has been so fierce that half of town halls do not expect their finances to recover until at least the middle of the decade.

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