Swindon’s Conservative MPs say the government has been much more forthcoming with cash than Labour councillors here are claiming.

As the Labour administration’s first budget is going through the process of being approved and adopted by the authority, both Sir Robert Buckland who represents South Swindon, and Justin Tomlinson the MP for North Swindon say that the cabinet member Councillor Kevin Small’s claims that the share of the budget supplied by the government has dropped from 50 per cent to less than five per cent since 2010 is far from the full picture.

They say Swindon Borough Council will receive £13.4 million in extra funding next year, a boost of 7 per cent, as part of the Conservative government’s £64.7 billion Local Government Finance Settlement.

Euclid Street will receive £40.8 million through the Settlement Funding Assessment, £13.5 million from the Social Care Grant, £5.4 million through the Improved Better Care Fund, £3.4 million through the ASC Market Sustainability & Improvement Fund, £1.3 million through the ASC discharge fund as well as other pots of monies.

Mr Buckland said: “The Local Government Finance Settlement is supporting councils across England, including here in Swindon, making available £13.4 million in extra funding next year, and we have seen the council’s core spending increase by £60.8 million since 2015.”

Mr Tomlinson MP added: “The Government provides funding to councils though a variety of different streams, including the Social Care Grant, the Better Care Fund and various others. To imply that the Government is providing just 3% of the Council’s entire funding is wrong & misleading.”

In his briefings, Cllr Small has been talking about the council’s revenue budget, which pays for the authority’s day-to-day spending.

In April 2023 the previous Conservative administration put out the council’s annual council tax leaflet which said that year the government’s revenue support grant was £5.2m out of a total revenue budget of £166.4m – 3.1 per cent of the total.

The House of Commons library also provides figures on the funding provided to Euclid Street.

In 2015/16 the finance settlement from Whitehall was  £59.39m – which it says would be worth £73.79m in real term today.

This year that settlement funding was £38.65m – a 47 per cent reduction over nine years.

That figure does not include the council tax Swindon has raised which goes to make up the authority’s core spending power.

That has risen from £144.1m in 2015/16, in real terms now £179m to £190 this year. That represents a 6.3 per cent increase in core spending power in real terms.