North Devon MP in Commons clash over Devon funding
North Devon MP Nick Harvey has spoken out against further cuts to local government in Devon.
Leading a debate on the subject in Parliament, Nick told MPs that the funding disparity between rural and urban areas was no longer tolerable. The government’s funding formula for local authorities means urban councils currently receive around 50% more money per person than rural councils.
The MP highlighted that North Devon Council’s government grant has been halved since 2010, and the council’s total budget has been cut by a third since 2010, from £15 million to £10 million.
Commenting, Nick said: “At a time when local governments are being squeezed to unprecedented levels, the Government is giving no thought to the current funding settlement, which ‘locks in’ unfairness until 2020.
“Unless urgent action is taken to get rid of the disparity, North Devon is going to end up with far fewer social workers, buses and care services for vulnerable children. It is unacceptable.
“Rural-dwellers are receiving half as much local government funding as people in cities. How on earth can the Government justify this gap? North Devon residents will – rightly – no longer put up with this unfairness while watching their public services erode.
“Each person in North Devon pays on average £102 more in Council Tax than those in urban areas. It is simply not right that the poorest people in the country pay such a huge amount towards increasingly thinner local services, and I will continue to fight this in Westminster.”
(from a press release)