THE leader of the county council has welcomed the government’s “sea change” spending review which would see millions of pounds of extra funding for social care, public transport and town centres.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, leader of Worcestershire County Council, said the government’s funding announcements were “very positive” and a “sea change” to its approach to funding local government and supporting services.

He said that whilst the council was still analysing the detail of the government’s spending review on Wednesday (September 4), he very much welcomed the planned additional funds.

Chancellor and Worcestershire MP Sajid Javid promised an extra £1.5 billion would be made available to councils across the country to help “stabilise” the social care system.

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The county council would also be given the option to raise money through a council tax precept for adult social care.

The county council raised council tax by 3.99 per cent last year - one per cent of which was ring-fenced for adult social care.

Mr Javid also said £200 million would be provided to invest in bus services around the country - of which the county council expects to receive around £2 million.

Mr Javid also promised £241 million to help regenerate town centres’ high streets and £54 million of new funding to address homelessness and rough sleeping.

The government said it will also provide an additional £700 million to support children with special educational needs next year.

The extra money comes after news that Worcester will receive a share of £1 billion from a government fund to transform high streets.

The money could be used to convert empty shops into homes or offices or improve transport links.

Cllr Geraghty said the council would likely receive around £10 million from the extra funds promised for social care based on the custom the county council receives around one per cent of funding.

The government also confirmed the fair funding review, which would look at baseline funding for every authority in the country, would be delayed until 2021.

Historically, Worcestershire has received less in funding because of the outdated formula and council chiefs have lobbied extensively for a review for a number of years.

The introduction of the business rate retention scheme, which would allow councils to keep 75 per cent of the money it collects, would also be delayed for another year.

Worcestershire County Council was one of the authorities chosen for the business rates retention pilot last year which brought in around £4 million more.

Cllr Geraghty co-signed a letter alongside more than 30 other council leaders in England calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to provide extra ‘emergency’ funding for local services next year and a “cast iron” commitment to implementing fairer funding reforms from 2021.