This toolkit has been produced by the UK Women’s Budget Group (WBG). The funding has been provided by ROSA, the UK Fund for Women and Girls. ROSA works to champion funding for women and girls, raise funds and invest in change, and act as a connector and advocate.
This is a toolkit for women’s organisations, community groups and others who want to evaluate whether and how English local governments are taking gender equality into account in responding to cuts to the grants they get from central government. It concludes with ideas about organizing to challenge decisions that undermine gender equality.
It complements existing toolkits produced to assist women’s organizations, trades unions, community activists and others to assess the impact of local and national expenditure cuts. The focus of this toolkit is specifically on local government.
It focuses on England because the legal frameworks and financial arrangements are somewhat different in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; and because it is based on work with two women’s organizations in England. It draws on analysis of two English county councils: Somerset and Norfolk, and also gives examples from three city councils.
- describes the key features of English local government budgets;
- explains the legal obligations of English local government with respect to taking gender equality into account in their budget decisions ;
- shows how to locate and analyse the gender impact assessments of budget proposals produced by local governments;
- explains how gender responsive budgeting could help to provide a better basis for compliance with the legal obligations;
- gives examples of how to campaign to hold local governments to account and challenge decisions that undermine gender equality, including pressing central government to restore funding for local government.