Watford's MP Dean Russell has praised a £600 million investment from the UK Government into England's local authorities.

Half a billion pounds will also be given to councils responsible for both adult and children's social care, distributed through the UK Government's Social Care Grant. 

The County Council Network (CNN) – of which Hertfordshire is a member – has previously warned of “more severe” service cuts if no extra money is provided.

Dean Russell MP commented: "I was pleased to talk to government ministers on behalf of local councils and to help secure the additional funding for my region.

"This new funding stream will make such a difference, and will help the council to continue providing excellent services, many to our most vulnerable residents."

Watford Observer: The leader of Hertfordshire County Council, Richard Roberts.The leader of Hertfordshire County Council, Richard Roberts. (Image: Hertfordshire County Council)

Richard Roberts, the leader of Hertfordshire Council added: "This is fantastic news, and is so helpful.

"This additional money will support vulnerable children and adults, and is an absolute lifeline in difficult financial circumstances."

The CCN, which previously called for extra funding to ensure that "severe" cuts are avoided, "strongly welcomed" the funding announcement.

Cllr Tim Oliver, chairman of the network, said: "Over recent weeks the County Councils Network (CCN) has led the way in highlighting the extreme pressures facing county and unitary authorities, and the consequences of not providing them with emergency financial relief.

Watford Observer: Hertfordshire County Council is part of the CCN.Hertfordshire County Council is part of the CCN. (Image: Google Maps)

"This culminated in a letter to government last week, signed by an unprecedented 46 MPs which illustrates the severity of the issue.

“We strongly welcome the government listening to our concerns, and today’s announcement of an additional £500m will go some way to easing the pressures councils face, and in particular addressing the escalating demand and costs of delivering social care and home to school transport. 


“Whilst this extra funding will undoubtedly help us protect valued frontline services, councils, of course, still face difficult decisions when setting their budgets for 2024/25.

"Service reductions will still be necessary for councils in some areas to balance their books, while the majority of councils will still have little choice but to propose maximum council tax rises.

“Looking further ahead, reform of local government finance and the way in which we are expected to provide services is imperative."

Watford mayor Peter Taylor added: “Funding for Watford Council from central government has been cut by 50% in real terms over the last decade. Our current funding gap was £3m a year. This extra funding will be about £30,000 for Watford Council, so 1 per cent of what we need. 

“It could be described as a very short-term sticking plaster but even that would be overly generous. 

“We need proper long term funding arrangements for councils so that we can provide important front line services for local residents and help people through the cost-of-living crisis.”