The Labour Party has announced that more than half a billion pounds could be saved through greater efficiency in local government.
In a report from its “zero-based review” of government spending the opposition party said the cash could be saved through greater collaboration between councils, merging fire and rescue authorities and altering the current administration’s policies.
Labour said it would “save over £500 million from 2016/17 through shared services, back-office collaboration and streamlining” and “consider proposals to merge some of the 46 fire and rescue authorities in England, making savings of between £62.7 million and £83.6 million”.
The party also said it would save £100 million from the government’s Transformation Challenge Award, a fund that supports local authorities to redesign service delivery, and make savings from the enterprise zones scheme. Labour also says it will end the “regressive and ineffective” New Homes Bonus and reallocate its funding “more fairly”.
Hilary Benn MP, Labour’s shadow secretary of state for communities and local government, said: “Services locally should be built around people and places rather than institutional and administrative boundaries, which lead to inefficiencies and higher costs.
“By passing powers and resources down from Whitehall to local communities we can make savings and ensure that the money we have is better spent.”