THE leader of Vale of White Horse District Council has urged the government to provide more clarity about local government finances.

Emily Smith said uncertainty about local government around the country had left authorities like hers in an ‘increasingly precarious financial position’.

She wrote to Robert Jenrick, the secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, urging him to provide more clarity over funding in the short and medium term.

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Mrs Smith, who became the authority’s leader in May, said: “While I recognise that the government has a publicly stated ambition for councils to move towards a ‘self-financing future’, the current lack of of clarity has left local authorities such as the Vale in an increasingly precarious financial position.

“I was, therefore, disappointed to read that the much-need long-term reforms to the local government finance system have been delayed for at least another year.”

She added: “Between 2011 and 2019, Vale of White Horse has seen a real terms reduction in government support of over 20 per cent."

Mrs Smith said: “Although the council has been able to plug this gap through savings such as joint working and shared staffing, this has become increasingly difficult and if this trend continues there will be a significant impact on services.”