The leader of Hertfordshire County Council has praised a £600 million investment from the UK Government into England's local authorities.

Half a billion pounds will also be given to councils responsible for both adult and children's social care, distributed through the UK Government's Social Care Grant. 

The County Council Network (CNN) – of which Hertfordshire is a member – has previously warned of “more severe” service cuts if no extra money is provided.

The Comet: The leader of Hertfordshire County Council, Richard Roberts.The leader of Hertfordshire County Council, Richard Roberts. (Image: Hertfordshire County Council)

Richard Roberts, the leader of Hertfordshire Council commented: "This is fantastic news, and is so helpful.

"This additional money will support vulnerable children and adults, and is an absolute lifeline in difficult financial circumstances."

The CCN, which previously called for extra funding to ensure that "severe" cuts are avoided, "strongly welcomed" the funding announcement.

Cllr Tim Oliver, chairman of the network, said: "Over recent weeks the County Councils Network (CCN) has led the way in highlighting the extreme pressures facing county and unitary authorities, and the consequences of not providing them with emergency financial relief.

The Comet: Hertfordshire County Council is part of the CCN.Hertfordshire County Council is part of the CCN. (Image: Google Maps)

"This culminated in a letter to government last week, signed by an unprecedented 46 MPs which illustrates the severity of the issue.

“We strongly welcome the government listening to our concerns, and today’s announcement of an additional £500m will go some way to easing the pressures councils face, and in particular addressing the escalating demand and costs of delivering social care and home to school transport. 

“Whilst this extra funding will undoubtedly help us protect valued frontline services, councils, of course, still face difficult decisions when setting their budgets for 2024/25.

"Service reductions will still be necessary for councils in some areas to balance their books, while the majority of councils will still have little choice but to propose maximum council tax rises.

The Comet: Ben Bradley MP has highlighted the difficult choices that councils still have to make.Ben Bradley MP has highlighted the difficult choices that councils still have to make.

“Looking further ahead, reform of local government finance and the way in which we are expected to provide services is imperative."

Cllr Ben Bradley MP, Chair of the County All-Party Parliamentary Group, added: “Today’s announcement is a culmination of an effective campaign led by the CCN and County All-Party Parliamentary Group which was supported by a large cohort of county MPs from all parts of the country. 

"Councils still face difficult choices this year and next, and that’s why councils need a long-term sustainable funding settlement and reform to our statutory responsibilities moving forward.”