The leader of East Lancashire's largest local authority is calling on Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to provide extra cash for England's council's in his autumn financial statement tomorrow.

Blackburn with Darwen Council's political boss, Cllr Phil Riley, has backed the Local Government Association's campaign calling for Whitehall action to ‘Save local services’.

The all-party body has told Mr Hunt: "Local government is the fabric of our country.

"Despite additional funding this year council finances are under strain like never before.

"If nothing changes councils are facing a funding gap of £4 billion over the next two years.

"We need a long-term plan from government.

"Inflation is not going to come down overnight. Reserves can only be spent once. A local service cannot be cut twice."

Lancashire Telegraph: Chancellor Jeremy HuntChancellor Jeremy Hunt (Image: PA)

According to the Institute for Government, central government funding has dropped by 31 per cent in real terms since 2010; this has led to increases in council tax and a loss of public services in order to balance the books.

Labour's Cllr Riley said: "Ahead of the government’s autumn statement, and the local government settlement later in the year, I am joining the LGA’s call to save local services.

"We’re asking the Government to ensure councils have adequate resources to meet ongoing cost and demand pressures, protect local services from cutbacks and invest in improving the services our communities rely on.

"Over the last 15 years, central government grants have decreased in line with austerity measures and a number of local authorities – including some very high profile ones – have effectively declared themselves bankrupt in recent times.

"Thankfully, we are not in that position because we have taken difficult decisions in the past and, as confirmed in our recent Corporate Peer Challenge, we have a robust financial and forward planning systems in place.

"However, there should be no mistake – demand is massive and growing, costs are rising, inflation is still high and these factors result in pressure on all of our council services.

"When you add to this the ongoing effects of the cost of living crisis, which is impacting us like everyone else, it creates massive challenges in deciding where best we use our limited resources.

"As the leader of the council it is my priority to make sure that nobody is left behind and, working with residents, partner organisations and local businesses, we have to ensure that funds are allocated to vital services to give everyone a better quality of life."