Torridge leader fights for fairer rural funding

13:58 17 March 2014

Torridge District Council leader, Cllr Phil Collins.

Torridge District Council leader, Cllr Phil Collins.

Archant

Cllr Philip Collins had a one-to-one meeting with MP Brandon Lewis at Westminster.

THE leader of Torridge District Council has been invited to Westminster to discuss the issues faced by rural areas.

Cllr Philip Collins had a one-to-one meeting with MP Brandon Lewis, minister for local government, to bring him up to speed with Torridge.

He also discussed how the council could adhere to government plans to continue with the policy of cuts in grant funding and still stay viable.

Cllr Collins said: “It was a very productive and useful meeting and I believe Mr Lewis has a real understanding of the rural issues we face here.

“We discussed issues that affect Torridge specifically like fairer funding for rural districts, as well as a few county-wide issues, such as education.

“I was pleased to hear an announcement about extra funding for Devon schools - that can only be good for Torridge.”

Cllr Collins also discussed and reinforced Torridge’s need for gaining assisted area status to better compete with EU funded Cornwall.

“Not only would that help businesses in northern Devon, but visitors and residents as well,” he added. #

“We are cut off somewhat and the need for duelling the A361 would make a big difference to our economy.

“Mr Lewis suggested officers at Torridge should contact his staff to continue certain aspects of our conversation - which they will be doing very soon - you do not ignore a strong hint like that.”

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