Councils in England and Wales have warned they are “completely in the dark” about how much money they will get from central government next year.
Literally in the dark in many cases as they can’t actually afford to keep the lights on.
Councils are facing systemic underfunding according to the Local Government Association with eleven of them forecast to have completely exhausted their cash reserves within the next four years.
A number of local authorities have therefore launched crowdfunding campaigns so residents can pledge their investment in return for the reward of not losing vital services.
A spokesman for one council said, “We encourage residents to contribute as much as they can – there are some truly great rewards on offer.
“For example, for only £1,000 you can get your bins collected once a month helping you to avoid plague, pestilence and death.
“For £5,000 a pothole of your choice within half a mile of your home will temporarily be filled in. We’ll even throw in disruptive traffic lights in an area where no actual work is being completed.
“For £10,000 we’ll clean up your local park, providing your dog with somewhere to shit copiously that isn’t your own garden. You’ll be able to spend your weekends running, meeting up for coffee, having picnics and all the other things you hate doing with the friends you secretly despise.
“For an extra £500 we can fence off a designated drug zone behind the toilets.
“If you’re feeling really flash you can pledge £50,000 and avoid losing children’s services, ensuring some of the most vulnerable members of society are cared for.
“However, we accept that realistically most people will probably just give the basic £100 to help upgrade the car park ticket machines so they take cards.”
Residents can pledge money online right now if they can be bothered to negotiate the Kafkaesque nightmare that is their local authority website.