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Local Government Dashboard

Coronavirus risk and resilience indicators for local government

This financial risk dashboard brings together a series of indicators relevant to understanding the risks that coronavirus and the government's response to the crisis present to the finances of individual councils.

This is intended to illustrate the different challenges specific councils may face. To this end, users can select up to three authorities in the 'Dashboard' tab. This will show the value of each indicator for the selected authorities, as well how these compare to other councils of the same type, and to all other councils. This is based on deciles, where group 1 is the relatively highest risk (red) and group 10 the lowest risk (green). Comparisons with other authorities of the same type are likely to be more meaningful for most indicators.

There is no overall ‘risk rating’ for each council. This is because it is unclear what weight should be put on each indicator, and a number of important factors are likely unobservable or omitted.

Indicators are grouped into different categories:

  • Assessed prevalence of Covid-19
  • Health-related risks
  • Housing and family-related risks
  • Revenue risks to: Council Tax; Business Rates; Sales, Fees and Charges; and Commercial      income
  • Financial resilience and commitments

The dashboard also includes the funding authorities have received from the government so far to help address the financial impacts of the coronavirus crisis and to fund additional council tax reductions for residents in receipt of income-based discounts (‘council tax support’). These are not risk indicators, but are included as a memo item. 

The `Sources' tab provides the detail of how each indicator has been calculated, and provides links to sources for the underlying data.

The figures relating to the prevalence of Covid-19 will be updated and a revised dashboard published monthly. Further indicators may also be added as data becomes available.

For a description of each indicator, how they relate to the financial risks facing councils and some initial analysis of the trends, see the accompanying briefing note (Ogden, K. and Phillips, D.  (2020), 'The financial risk and resilience of English local authorities in the coronavirus crisis', IFS Briefing Note BN296).

For any questions, please contact Kate Ogden (kate.ogden@ifs.org.uk) and David Phillips (david_p@ifs.org.uk).

Use of these results should acknowledge K. Ogden and D. Phillips (2020), 'The financial risk and resilience of English local authorities in the coronavirus crisis', and link to https://www.ifs.org.uk/publications/14893.

Briefing note
Local government UK
Local authorities (LAs) across the country are among those on the front line of the coronavirus crisis. But geographical differences in demographic and economic structures make different parts of the country more vulnerable to different effects of the crisis – on health, on families and children, ...