Research & reports

Title: Making it count: spending cuts which protect your community

Organisation: Road Safety GB, RoSPA, PACTS, IRSO, ADEPT, GreenSafe, Chris Lines Consulting
Date uploaded: 28th September 2010
Date published/launched: September 2010

This report outlines the role which local authorities can play in protecting the length and quality of life which residents experience and offers guidance about where to look for additional financial and informative support.

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While the full extent of spending cuts will not be unveiled until the Treasury publishes its Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) expected in October 2010, early indicators from the coalition suggest that Local Government will take the biggest hit in budget deficit plans.

A cut of 780m for the Department for Communities and Local Government and a 1.2bn
reduction to local authority grants combined with the removal of ring fencing for more than 1.7bn of local authority budgets mean that spending choices at the local level will become more complex and difficult decisions will need to be made. As a decision maker and budget holder, it is likely that you will be looking to get the most out of every pound spent, looking at the full range of Local Government activity and assessing the most effective way to allocate budgets in order to ensure that your community does not suffer as a result of fiscal tightening.

People are the most valuable economic resource in any community. The spending decisions which you make will affect the wellbeing of the people in your local authority area and could help to preserve their quality and length of life.
Legislation, funding and governance structures dictate that Local Government is the lead delivery agent of road safety activity and has made a significant contribution to the 40 per cent reduction in the number of people killed and seriously injured (KSI) on our roads over the last decade. But road death and injury continues to plague our communities and must continue to be treated using a preventative approach.

The total value of prevention of reported road accidents in 2009, estimated to be 15.8bn. This includes an estimate of the cost of damage only accidents but does not allow for unreported injury accidents. A number of assumptions have been made to produce a broad illustrative figure which suggests that allowing for accidents not reported to the police could increase the total value of prevention of road accidents to around 30 billion.1 The argument to improve road safety is therefore not simply ethically, socially and emotionally driven but also an economically sound policy area that will deliver real cost savings.

At times like this, every public service will be calling for protection and it becomes more important that long-term and sustainable interventions that make a difference are prioritised.

Spending on effective and well-evaluated road safety activity will not only protect members of your community but will also prevent the numbers of KSI from rising and presenting additional economic and social costs in your area.

Road death and injury is expensive and demoralising but preventable. The following outlines the role which you can play in protecting the length and quality of life which your residents experience and offers guidance about where to look for additional financial and informative support.

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