The Local Government Association is warning that by 2020 local councils are going to have to spend virtually all their budget on adult social care and emptying the bins.
Tony Travers, local government expert at the LSE, explains that local government cuts and the rise in demand for services is creating a rising gap in funding.
Sir Merrick Cockell, chair of the LGA, says the system "isn't going to work anymore".
"We've got to change the way we operate... and turbo-charge localism," he told the Today programme.
Get in touch with Today via
or text us on 84844.