Doncaster set to lose £5million in government funding following review which 'benefits wealthy places'

Doncaster mayor Ros Jones has hit out at a central government funding review which suggests millions will be directed away from the borough, towards affluent areas like Hampshire and Surrey.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Monday, 10th February 2020, 5:07 pm

Under a revamp of the local authority funding formula, Doncaster is set to lose nearly £5 million a year.

Analysis from the Local Government Association (LGA) Labour group show the two biggest beneficiaries are Hampshire County Council with an extra £35 million a year and Surrey County Council with £25 million.

The mayor said there had been ‘no let-up’ by Boris Johnson and his Conservative Government who ‘continue to under-fund councils’.

Ros Jones

Mayor Jones has written to all three Doncaster MPs calling on them to oppose the current proposals in the so-called Fair Funding Review and called it a ‘political tool to benefit Conservative areas’.

DMBC is expected to raise council tax by 3.99 per cent - two per cent of which is ring-fenced for adult social care.

“I remain extremely disappointed that the Government has still not taken the opportunity to deal with the national funding problems facing local authorities, particularly with regard to adult social care,” she said.

“The Government continues to underfund vital services and yet increases the financial burden on local taxpayers. It places strain on those who can least afford it, through a regressive tax system that benefits wealthy areas over places like Doncaster….we are still feeling the effects of a decade of austerity and we still face more uncertainty, hence our need to remain focused. We have made difficult decisions about what services we can fund, whilst we continue to protect vulnerable people.

She added: “It should not be used as a political tool to benefit typically conservative areas of the country, which I believe it currently is.

A government spokesman said: “Funding allocations for adult social care should be fair and based on the best available evidence.

"We will continue to progress the fair funding review through close collaboration and engagement with the local government sector, and aim to publish a consultation with indicative allocations in spring 2020.

"Councils should continue to use official government data for their financial planning.”