The rural rebellion

09:55 31 January 2013


Government to be tackled over funding gap between rural and urban areas.

Local MP Neil Parish is leading the fight to secure a fairer funding deal for rural areas.

He has secured a backbench business debate in a bid to persuade the Government to reconsider the 2013/14 Local Government Financial Settlement.

The Conservative MP for Tiverton and Honiton believes the current settlement “threatens to entrench the injustice suffered by rural areas by further widening the gap between the funding given to rural and urban councils”.

“It’s time the countryside got a fairer deal,” he told the Midweek Herald. “Rural Local Authorities have always had to deal with under-funding compared with their city neighbours. Urban councils already receive twice as much than rural councils like East Devon and Mid Devon District Councils in my constituency. This trend must be reversed.

“I hope that this debate will send a clear signal to the Minister of the strength of feeling from all sides of the House that rural services need to be properly funded.”

Mr Parish led a group of cross-party MPs in presenting the case for the debate to the Backbench Business Committee on Tuesday.

The debate will take place Monday, February 11, and is being supported by The Rural Fair Share Campaign.

Urban councils receive 50 per cent more per head than rural areas - despite evidence that many services are more expensive to deliver in sparsely populated areas.

In spite of a commitment by Eric Pickles in December 2011 to reduce the inequality, the most recent provisional settlement instead cuts support for rural councils.

The Rural Fair Share Campaign is calling on the government to do two things:

To amend the provisional settlement so that there is a modest reduction in the gap between rural and urban councils in the coming year;

For the Secretary of State to set out a plan to close the funding gap between rural and urban councils to no more than 40% by 2020.

The chairman of the Rural Fair Share Campaign, Graham Stuart MP, said: “The Department for Communities and Local Government promised in the summer that they would reduce the Rural Penalty – which sees urban councils receive 50 per cent more per head in grants than those in rural areas – but the proposed Local Government Financial Settlement only narrows the gap by 0.2 per cent.

“It’s great that Neil Parish has taken this up, got a parliamentary debate and we hope to use it to change the Government’s mind.”


Other News Stories

Honiton Rugby Club says it has been dealt a financial blow after East Devon District Council hiked up the price for the use of Allhallows playing fields.

Read more

The NHS is consulting on proposals to axe prescriptions of gluten free food in North, East and West Devon for those suffering coeliac disease - what do you think? Vote in our poll.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:30

The Axe Valley Centre of the National Trust is holding its annual Autumn Fair at Colyford Memorial Hall on Saturday, October 29, from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:30

East Devon healthy eating charity HALFF is urging local people to help it gain extra funding through Localgiving’s Grow Your Tenner campaign.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:11

Honiton brownies, guides and rainbows recently enjoyed a sleepover at Honiton Playdome.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:48

Council has to seek extra funding after the estimated cost rises to £800,000

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00

A vital lifeline for young people with emotional problems needs your vote – to secure funding for another year.

Read more
Tue, 17:00

More than 400 people donned their tweed to support Hospiscare’s Jolly Good Jaunt last Sunday (October 23).

Read more
Tue, 11:59

Primary school pupils perform a special wassailing song to boost future crops

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 13°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists

Find planning applications