4 September 2015 | Jamie Harris
A Local Government Association (LGA) report reveals that local councils will face up to £10 billion in further cost pressures over the next five years.
The LGA reports that the implementation of government policies will cost councils £6.3 billion by 2020.
It also predicts that an extra £3.6 billion of 'business as usual' pressures to maintain the current level of services, taking into account inflation and other demand burdens.
The report indicates a number of looming cost increases, including the introduction of the National Living Wage for council staff and care workers. Eligible workers - those over 25 years old - will be paid a minimum of £9 an hour by 2020. This, says the LGA, will cost councils £834 million a year by 2019/2020.
Other cost pressures include increasing waste recycling targets and treating growing cases of tree disease and pests, such as Chalara ash dieback. The latter is expected to cost up to £100 million over the next five years.
The LGA represents more than 370 local councils in England and Wales.
In its report, the LGA warns chancellor George Osborne that "failing to fully consider these unfunded cost burdens... could result in important local services being scaled back or lost".
The report has been published and submitted to the Treasury ahead of November's spending review.