‘Rural penalty’ is too much

Armed Forces Minister and North Devon MP Nick Harvey.

Armed Forces Minister and North Devon MP Nick Harvey. - Credit: Archant

Nick Harvey MP says government must level the playing field between town and countryside.

NORTH Devon MP Nick Harvey has called for a level playing field between rural and urban areas after the government slashed its funding to local councils.

He said the 2013-14 settlement announced last month widened the funding gap, with urban councils already receiving half again more per head than rural areas.

North Devon Council has received six per cent less, leaving a £200,000 budget shortfall.

“This means people in North Devon and beyond will earn less, pay far more in council tax but receive far less financial support for our vital services, like fire and rescue – to the tune of £133 per head less than the average for urban authorities,” said Mr Harvey.

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“Enough is enough – rural areas cannot continue to suffer from the ‘rural penalty’ at a time when our services are trying to work harder with fewer financial resources. The government must urgently re-examine the proposed grant and reduce the gap.”

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