Geoffrey Cox QC, Member of Parliament for Torridge and West Devon, has welcomed a move from the Government that following a consultation on the provision Local Government Finance settlement Devon County Council, West Devon Borough Council and Torridge District Council will all receive more funding over the next two years.
This announcement came after Mr Cox, a Patron of the Rural Fair Share campaign, along with other Devon MPs, met with Local Government Ministers to lobby for a fairer funding settlement for Devon.
Following the meeting, Local Government Ministers confirmed that Devon County Council would receive £8.39 million of additional funding in the first year and £5.6 million in the second year, putting Devon in the top ten amongst similar councils in England. Torridge District Council and West Devon Borough Council will each receive around £180,000.
Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has also announced a Fair Funding Review to consider the appropriate funding needs of different types of areas, stating: “It is nearly ten years since the current formula was looked at thoroughly, and there is good reason to believe that the demographic pressures affecting particular areas – such as the growth in the elderly population – have affected different areas in different ways, as has the cost of providing services.
“We will conduct a thorough review of what the needs assessment formula should be in a world in which local government spending is funded by local resources not central grant.”
Commenting on the announcement, Geoffrey Cox said: “Having met with the Leader of Devon County Council as well as other Council colleagues to discuss this settlement after the consultation was launched at the end of December, I also met with the new Secretary of State on a number of occasions and wrote to both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor on this subject.
“I warmly welcome this announcement from the Secretary of State. This is an unprecedented level of change between the initial proposals and the final settlement, and it gives me a great satisfaction to see the results of the extensive lobbying from both myself and other Devon MPs.
“I have been calling for fairer funding for local government since I was first elected and so I am pleased that this issue is finally being addressed.
“I have said many times in the past; it cannot be right that smaller more rural councils get punished for running more efficient services, when additional savings are called for from government, which is why I appreciate these announcements.
“Hopefully this additional funding will help to safeguard local services that we all rely on.”
(from a press release)