Council leader ‘disappointed’ by Government rural funding report

North Devon Council leader Cllr Brian Greenslade

North Devon Council leader Cllr Brian Greenslade - Credit: Archant

Report claims funding disparity figures are ‘misleading’

North Devon Council leader Brian Greenslade is ‘disappointed’ the government has dismissed an imbalance between rural and urban area funding, but insists the rural funding campaign continues.

The government published a report on Monday, which rejected claims that its funding formula is unfair to rural areas. It also said statistics, that claimed rural areas receive 50% less government funding per person than urban areas, were misleading.

The report comes as MPs, councils and communities have been calling on the government to bridge the funding gap between urban and rural areas.

Cllr Greenslade said: “I’m disappointed the government disagrees that rural areas get a raw deal through the funding formula. Still, it’s clear the voices of 1,500 people in North Devon who signed a recent petition, along with thousands of others across the country, have been heard and I hope this will still lead to a suitable outcome.”

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The report does, however, mention that the government will be looking to make adjustments to its funding formula.

North Devon MP Nick Harvey was also unimpressed by the report’s findings.

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“It is clearly unsatisfactory for the Government to deny the funding formula disadvantages rural areas, when they did so much as recognise this themselves by bringing in a ‘sparsity factor’ after their first consultation in summer 2012,” he said. “This doesn’t stop the fight for a fairer deal for areas like North Devon and the Rural Fair Share campaign group of MPs will continue to push this issue in Parliament until it is resolved.”

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