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Conservatives Favouring Wealthy Councils

February 16, 2016 5:10 PM

PRESS RELEASE

16th February 2016

Conservatives Favouring Wealthy Councils

The Government recently announced "transition funds" for Councils that are struggling with cuts to their budget, but it appears that these funds favour wealthy Councils over cash-strapped ones that desperately need the funding.

For example, if Leicestershire County Council had a core spending power per dwelling similar to Surrey County Council, they'd have an extra hundred million per year. Yet Surrey has received a £12 million transition fund - nearly four times as much as Leicestershire has received.

Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Kent and Essex all have significantly higher spending powers than Leicestershire. They also received far more in transition funding. The wealthy Councils in the South East appear to have been given more transition funding than the entire North and Midlands combined.

That said, Leicestershire fared better than other Councils in the East Midlands. Despite being one of few councils to have a lower level of spending power than Leicestershire, Northampton's transition funding was only half the size. Lincolnshire, the Council with the lowest level of core spending power per dwelling were only given £11,000 for their transition fund - a mere 0.1% of the grant being given to wealthy Surrey.

This raises questions as to whether the Tory Government is really providing these grants to help the councils that are struggling, or unfairly penalised by the funding formula, or whether it was merely to buy the loyalty of sharp-elbowed Tory MPs to ensure they voted in favour of the settlement.

Simon Galton said: "We welcome the extra funding Leicestershire has received but it's important that we recognise that this isn't about fairer funding as the biggest share of the funds have gone to councils that are not in need.

If Leicestershire is going to get a fair deal from the Government, the Tories need to make sure that help is given based on need, and not going to wealthy Councils that need it least."

Notes:

"Core spending power" is the Government's measurement of the overall revenue funding available for local authority services, including Council Tax, locally retained business rates and government grants. More info:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/core-spending-power-final-local-government-finance-settlement-2016-to-2017

New Funding Announced in Final Settlement 2016-17 - Individual LAs

2016-17

2017-18

Transitional Funding

Extra £m if Leics would have if funded at same level

Transitional Funding

Extra £m if Leics would have if funded at same level

£ millions

£ millions

Local Authority

Surrey

11.926

105.672

12.175

104.940

Hampshire

9.351

19.481

9.338

18.368

Hertfordshire

7.760

54.861

7.849

52.978

Essex

6.960

54.580

6.972

53.194

West Sussex

6.174

30.253

6.254

30.380

Kent

5.682

42.073

5.685

40.286

Buckinghamshire

4.635

77.248

4.587

79.986

Oxfordshire

4.454

56.052

4.463

55.682

Leicestershire

3.307

3.306

Cambridgeshire

3.205

28.610

3.170

28.539

North Yorkshire

2.992

28.293

2.962

25.410

Warwickshire

2.990

29.769

2.993

30.369

Dorset

2.968

38.619

2.947

35.946

Devon

2.823

53.611

2.811

51.006

Staffordshire

2.774

4.847

2.792

2.698

East Sussex

2.704

71.179

2.696

67.573

Worcestershire

2.517

19.089

2.519

19.438

Gloucestershire

2.475

8.024

2.482

6.669

Nottinghamshire

1.980

36.041

1.984

33.693

Suffolk

1.944

14.241

1.978

11.977

Northamptonshire

1.691

-0.920

1.702

-0.223

Norfolk

1.602

40.668

1.657

37.721

Derbyshire

1.143

18.771

1.124

16.185

Lancashire

1.108

32.339

1.154

29.860

Somerset

1.090

15.089

1.085

13.970

Cumbria

0.890

41.842

0.893

36.296

Lincolnshire

0.011

-3.410

0.009

-6.986

New Funding Announced in Final Settlement 2016-17 - Authority Types and Regions

2016-17

Transitional Funding

£ millions

Authority Type

Shire Districts

9.021

Shire Counties

97.157

Met Districts

2.473

English Unitaries

26.573

London Boroughs

13.359

Fire Authorities

1.417

Total

150.000

Region

London (ex GLA)

13.359

East of England

26.497

South East

55.894

South West

18.932

North East

0.266

North West

8.950

East Midlands

8.926

West Midlands

10.947

Yorkshire and Humberside

4.812

Fire Authorities

1.417

Total

150.000