Fairer county funding story covered in the Times

CCN Latest News, CCN News 2017 | 01 March 2017

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CCN’s call for fairer county funding has been featured in the Times newspaper.

Ahead of the Spring budget next week, the article focuses on the disparity in social care funding between rural areas and urban areas; counties recieve 61% less funding per head for over 65s compared to London, CCN’s research with LG Futures shows.

Overall, CCN figures show that counties receive £249 per head for core services, compared to £550 for inner London. As a consequence, county authorities have little option but to raise council tax to make up the shortfall. Due to this historical imbalance, some county council tax bills are close to treble the amount of the most affluent parts of London.

The Government’s renewed committment to the needs-based review of local government finance is welcome and offers hope that these imbalances will be addressed. CCN will continue to work with Government to advocate a simple methodology based on genuine ‘cost-drivers’ of delivering services.

You can read the article here.

Our fairer funding work has also been featured in the Times here.

Below is the quote issued to the paper.

Cllr Paul Carter, Chairman of the County Councils Network, and leader of Kent County Council, said:

“The Prime Minister quite appropriately wants to create a ‘society that works for everyone’. However, the current method of funding local government clearly does pass the fairness test for everyone and this has a profound effect on county residents. Inner London councils receive well over double the amount of money to deliver core services compared to county local authorities. In a world of ever-decreasing council budgets, this has a huge impact.

“This unfairness is best illustrated by the sheer shortfalls in social care funding that counties receive: £278 per head compared to £717 per head for inner London, a 61% disparity. This situation has only worsened over time because cutbacks have hit counties the hardest despite rural areas containing the largest and fastest growing elderly populations. We welcome the possibility of more funding for social care in the Spring Budget, and we will be engaging with central Government on finding innovative ways to fund social care in the long-term.

“As a consequence of these funding shortfalls currently, rural taxpayers are penalised by geography; their council tax bills are close to treble the amount of some inner London boroughs. They face a postcode lottery of whether they have to pay much more for a similar level of service enjoyed in other parts of the country, so it is unsurprising there is growing unrest over this issue from rural MPs.

“However, there is light at the end of the tunnel: this government has committed to a fair funding needs-led review of local government funding. We are working with Sajid Javid and Ministers to find a fair and equitable solution to these glaring discrepancies, to ensure that councils are funded based on demand and the cost-drivers of delivering services, rather than the current regressive, unfair and opaque methodology.”