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Local government: The age of bankruptcy

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The notion that local government could go bankrupt is a novel one, but one we’re going to have to get used to. The onslaught first of all on the independence of local councils, and secondly their finances, launched by Thatcher decades ago, is now coming to a head. 

County councils in England have told ministers the “worst is yet to come” over “truly unpalatable” cuts to services and that several authorities risk going bust. The County Councils Network said an emergency injection of funds is needed next year to counter a growing financial “black hole”. A survey carried out by the County Councils Network found that a third of local authorities would struggle to balance their budgets for 2019/20 without extra funding, rising to two-thirds by 2020/21.