The deputy leader of Gedling Borough Council is calling for local MP Tom Randall to take urgent action and secure extra funding for the authority which he said is the ‘worst affected council in England’ when it comes to government spending cuts.
Councillor Michael Payne has said that despite a proposed minor increase of 2.3% for this year, the reduction of 21.3% since 2015/16 has seen Gedling Borough Council become the worst affected in terms of cuts to core spending power.
Core spending power measures the core revenue funding available for local authority services, including Council Tax and locally retained business rates.
In a letter to Mr Randall, which has been shared on Twitter, Councillor Payne asked the MP to try and secure an increase before the council budget is finalised in March.
He wrote: “Gedling Borough Council serves the residents you represent in Parliament but now finds itself the worst affected council in England in terms of change in Core Spending Power as a result of decisions taken by Conservative government ministers
“Why did you fail to raise an Oral Question on this issue in the Local Government Finance debate with the Parliamentary Under-secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Government, which took place in the House of Commons on January 13, 2020?
Mr Payne said that Prime Minster Boris Johnson’s promise to ‘unite and level up’ the whole of the United Kingdom he made on the steps of Downing Street in December ‘now rings hollow for the residents of Gedling borough.’
He added: “Will you now join the Leader of Gedling Borough Council and I in demanding the Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Governement honour their promise to ‘level up’ and ensure Gedling Borough Council is treated as fairly as other councils.”
In the letter, Councillor Payne claimed that 28 councils have seen a 15% uplift in Core Spending Power in 2020/21.
“23 of these 28 are Conservative controlled councils. Is this governing in the national interest or governing for narrow party political interest?”, said Councillor Payne.
Mr Payne finished the letter by saying that the Gedling MP needed to secure the extra funding to assure the people of Gedling borough that the Conseravtives promise to ‘level up’ the UK, ‘wasn’t simply empty rhetoric designed to win votes’.
Gedling MP Tom Randall responded by saying the council were given the opportunity to take part in an earlier consultation on funding – but failed to do so.
He told Gedling Eye: “The Settlement was preceded by a consultation which gave representatives of local government the opportunity to give their views on proposals for the local government finance settlement for 2020-21. I am disappointed to learn that Gedling Borough Council did not participate in this consultation.
“I am pleased to see that Gedling will benefit from an increased Core Spending Power of £0.2m, which is an increase of 2.3%. Additionally, through the Social Care Grant, Nottinghamshire will benefit directly from £14,400,000 more than last year to assist some of the most vulnerable people.
“There will be a Fair Funding Review Consultation which will likely open this Spring. I would encourage Gedling Borough Council to take part in this consultation and I would be very happy to work with the Council as it prepares its response.”