Responding to the Department for Communities & Local Government’s release of the provisional 2014/15 annual income and expenditure figures for Local Authorities in England, CILIP has called on elected members to consider the long-term social and economic impact of library services on their communities when balancing the books.
Key findings for 2014/15 include:
- The actual net reduction in Local Authority expenditure between 2013/14 and 2014/15 was just over 0.7% (from £96.4bn to £95.8bn)
- 242 Authorities increased their reserves during this period
- A total of £1bn was invested into reserves during 2014/15 (lower than the £2.4bn invested during 2013/14)
- Education accounts for 30.7% of Local Authority expenditure
- Locally-retained (ie. self-generated income & Council Tax receipts) income is increasing while centrally-distributed income is decreasing, but there remains a significant gap between the two
Responding to the report, CILIP CEO Nick Poole commented, “Local Authorities remain a major provider of library and information services across the UK, and these figures highlight the realities they are dealing with. With further reductions in centrally-distributed revenue planned in the coming years, it is essential that elected members understand the real financial and social value of library and information services for their communities.”
Education remains one of the biggest priorities for Local Authorities at 30.7% of their expenditure. Research has proven time and again that having access to a library service delivered by qualified professionals can support teachers by boosting learning outcomes, literacy and pupil attainment. Similarly, library services across the UK are delivering frontline support which helps reduce the pressure on health and social care services that make up some 20% of Council spending.
We note that some Authorities have been able to strengthen their reserves during the period of the report. We applaud their financial management, but we urge Councils to consider retaining a quality library service as a means of avoiding significant cost increases elsewhere in their expenditure before building up reserves”.
Communications and Campaigns Manager, CILIP
Tel: 020 7255 0653
Notes to editors
The Department for Communities and Local Government report, Local Authority Revenue Expenditure and Financing: 2014-15 Provisional Outturn, England:
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/456378/RO_Provisional_Outturn_2014-15_Statistical_Release.pdf [accessed 27 August 2015]
CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals is the leading professional body for librarians, information specialists and knowledge managers. CILIP’s vision is a fair and economically prosperous society underpinned by literacy, access to information and the transfer of knowledge. CILIP is a registered charity, no. 313014. Visit www.cilip.org.uk for more information.