South Yorkshire MP takes Minister to task over unfair funding

Michael Dugher, Barnsley East MP.

Michael Dugher, Barnsley East MP.

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Barnsley East MP Michael Dugher has highlighted unacceptable unfairness in local government funding, with the country’s poorest councils set to lose £198 more per head than the average English local authority.

Mr Dugher has written to the Communities and Local Government Secretary, Greg Clark, to raise research by the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities (SIGOMA), which shows that, between 2010/11 and 2017/18, these authorities will see an estimated loss of funding of £685 per head, compared to the English average of £487.

In Barnsley alone, the local council will see its spending power reduced by £61 per household just in 2016/17, compared to the average English reduction of £52.

Mr Dugher has criticised the unfair differences in funding in the Local Government Finance Settlement, which will force poorer local authorities to make further cutbacks to public services, which could hit libraries and children’s services.

Commenting, Mr Dugher said: “The poorest are being hit hardest under this Government, with less money now available for local authorities to spend on public services in deprived areas.

“Councils should be treated fairly, but further unfair cuts have been forced onto local authorities in the Local Government Finance Settlement.

“Councils like Barnsley are doing a good job making do with what they have, but cuts imposed by central government will have a major impact on the public services that people rely on.”