Councils across the country face bankruptcy if they do not get further support from the government, a council leader has said.

Stephen Holt, leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, has urged the Chancellor to use his Autumn Statement tomorrow to provide councils with greater support as a rise in homelessness threatens the viability of frontline services due to temporary accommodation costs.

Following an emergency summit last month, Cllr Holt and more than 100 other council leaders signed a letter to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt making six urgent requests, including long-term funding for councils, raising local housing allowance rates to cover at least 30 per cent of local market rent and a £150 million top-up to the Homelessness Prevention Grant for the next financial year.

Cllr Holt said: “I hope that Jeremy Hunt will listen to the collective cross-party voice of 119 council leaders and provide the financial support needed to prevent the prolonged suffering of the most vulnerable in society.

“Unless we get an Autumn Statement commitment, multiple council bankruptcies are inevitable and the safety net that so many people rely on will fail.”

According to the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the cost of temporary accommodation to councils reached £1.7 billion last year and it is increasing rapidly.

In Eastbourne alone, the council had to find an additional £2.6 million in 2022/23, with the figure forecast to rise to £3.6 million this financial year.

Cllr Holt said: “Nearly 300 senior council representatives took part in our emergency summit and they all hope the Prime Minister and Chancellor respond positively to the requests in our letter.

“Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt have the future of frontline public services in their hands and history will judge them very harshly if they don’t acknowledge this crisis and use their considerable powers to address it.”

Although the Prime Minister has declined to give any specifics ahead of the Autumn Statement, he has hinted at business tax rates to boost economic growth as he promised to reduce the tax burden “carefully and sustainably”.