Government funding biased towards Tory councils, says Brighton and Hove’s Labour leader

Posted On 11 Feb 2016 at 10:16 pm

Government funding for local authorities is biased towards fellow Conservatives, according to the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.

Warren Morgan spoke out after the final detail of the government’s support for councils was spelt out earlier this week.

Councillor Morgan said that Brighton and Hove would receive just £39,000 extra in “transitional funding” compared with millions for Conservative councils in the south east.

East Sussex County Council, for example, was given £2.7 million while West Sussex County Council was awarded £6.2 million. Surrey County Council received £11.9 million and Hampshire County Council was handed £9.4 million.

Even East Sussex Fire Authority was given £97,000, he said.

The transitional funding is supposed to help local authorities as they lose their main government funding – the revenue support grant – and before they can keep the business rates paid in their area.

Councillor Morgan said: “The sum we have been given is derisory compared to those our neighbours have received from the Chancellor.

“Together, seven council leaders from across the south east including myself wrote to the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Secretary of State last month demanding a better funding settlement.

Councillor Warren Morgan

Councillor Warren Morgan

“Surrey County Council received £11.9 million, Hampshire £9.4 million, West Sussex £6.2 million and East Sussex £2.7million.

“Brighton and Hove got just £39,000 – small change, a derisory sum when set against the cuts of more than £20 million we are facing in our budget.

“To make matters worse, we are also losing £6,000 or 4.7 per cent in a cut to money for new homes.”

Labour’s analysis was reported by The Guardian.

Councillor Morgan said that he was demanding answers from Conservative politicians. He said: “How is this fair or equitable for Brighton and Hove residents and the essential services we all use?

“How can Tory ministers justify this apparent bias towards their political friends in local government?

“What will local Tory leader Geoffrey Theobald and Tory MP Simon Kirby be doing to reverse this utterly biased decision?”

The figures were announced as part of the Final Local Government Settlement on Monday by Greg Clark, the Conservative Communities and Local Government Secretary.

Extra cash has been allocated to councils this year with most going to Conservative-led rural councils.

Councillor Morgan said that this was the fourth time in four months that he had demanded better funding for local services from central government.

  1. Rostrum Reply

    All the councils mentioned above are County councils.
    The fire service is the County fire service.

    If Mr Warren has a problem he should be comparing other urban and city councils with our own. Else his moaning can be seen as a local party dig at the national government.

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