The rural rebellion

PUBLISHED: 09:55 31 January 2013 | UPDATED: 09:55 31 January 2013

Archant

Government to be tackled over funding gap between rural and urban areas.

Local MP Neil Parish is leading the fight to secure a fairer funding deal for rural areas.

He has secured a backbench business debate in a bid to persuade the Government to reconsider the 2013/14 Local Government Financial Settlement.

The Conservative MP for Tiverton and Honiton believes the current settlement “threatens to entrench the injustice suffered by rural areas by further widening the gap between the funding given to rural and urban councils”.

“It’s time the countryside got a fairer deal,” he told the Midweek Herald. “Rural Local Authorities have always had to deal with under-funding compared with their city neighbours. Urban councils already receive twice as much than rural councils like East Devon and Mid Devon District Councils in my constituency. This trend must be reversed.

“I hope that this debate will send a clear signal to the Minister of the strength of feeling from all sides of the House that rural services need to be properly funded.”

Mr Parish led a group of cross-party MPs in presenting the case for the debate to the Backbench Business Committee on Tuesday.

The debate will take place Monday, February 11, and is being supported by The Rural Fair Share Campaign.

Urban councils receive 50 per cent more per head than rural areas - despite evidence that many services are more expensive to deliver in sparsely populated areas.

In spite of a commitment by Eric Pickles in December 2011 to reduce the inequality, the most recent provisional settlement instead cuts support for rural councils.

The Rural Fair Share Campaign is calling on the government to do two things:

To amend the provisional settlement so that there is a modest reduction in the gap between rural and urban councils in the coming year;

For the Secretary of State to set out a plan to close the funding gap between rural and urban councils to no more than 40% by 2020.

The chairman of the Rural Fair Share Campaign, Graham Stuart MP, said: “The Department for Communities and Local Government promised in the summer that they would reduce the Rural Penalty – which sees urban councils receive 50 per cent more per head in grants than those in rural areas – but the proposed Local Government Financial Settlement only narrows the gap by 0.2 per cent.

“It’s great that Neil Parish has taken this up, got a parliamentary debate and we hope to use it to change the Government’s mind.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

10:51

Devon County Council’s public health team is warning people to be ‘tick aware’ as they get out and about in the countryside, due to the risk of health problems including Lyme disease.

Read more
09:56

Alice in Wonderland-themed event staged in aid of cancer charity FORCE

Read more
11:48

Heritage Lottery award of £9,500 to capture the history of much loved open spaces

Read more
11:47

Matthew Collings wrote to the paper regarding high business rates paid by Sidmouth business owners.

Read more
10:45

A former RAF cadet hall in Sidmouth will be replaced with two bungalows for elderly residents if an outline planning application is approved.

Read more
10:00

Exmouth town crier Roger Bourgein has received the latest donation to a fundraising campaign for him to attend the International Town Criers Competition in Bermuda.

Read more

Plans for a 100-acre quarry on Ottery’s outskirts have been labelled as ‘unsustainable’ and ‘irresponsible’ by objectors.

Read more

A North Devon songwriter is asking people to send in their photos showing what makes them stronger, for her brand new music video.

Read more

A man was air lifted to hospital yesterday (Monday) after reports of having a seizure.

Read more
07:00

Campaigners against health cuts aim to draw ‘red lines’ around hospitals in North, East and South Devon

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Place a family notice

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Find a job in Devon



Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

FFind planning applications