Councillor Michael Payne says that Gedling borough is the ‘worst affected’ when it comes to reduction of resources available and in a letter sent last night called on MP Tom Randall to ‘stand up for the community you serve’ and secure a healthy rise.
But Mr Randall responded earlier today claiming the decreased budget was down to the council falling short in its house-building targets.
In his letter to Mr Randall, Councillor Payne wrote: “Gedling remains the worst affected council in England in terms of reduction in the resources available to it over the last six years.
“Disappointingly, Conservative Government Ministers have also ignored the cross-party written request of all forty-one Gedling Borough Councillors for the Government to increase Gedling Borough Council’s share of the Local Government Finance Settlement 2021/22.
“You stood on a Conservative Party manifesto in 2019 that promised to ‘level up every part of the UK’ – this promise rings hollow for as long as Gedling borough remains the worst affected community in England in terms of reduction in Core Spending Power since 2015/16.”
“I trust you will use the opportunity in today’s House of Commons debate and vote to stand up for the community you serve and put right this gross injustice. Gedling borough’s residents deserve better than to be treated this way by the Government.”
Mr Randall responded earlier today, saying there will be an increase.
In response to Councillor Payne’s letter he said: “I’m pleased that, this year, Gedling Borough Council’s Core Spending Power will rise by 1.4% in cash terms this year, an increase of £135,000.
“The local government settlement provides a funding floor, to ensure no council sees a year-on-year reduction in Core Spending Power; and provides stability the sector has asked for, through confirmation that the Government will not pursue fundamental finance reform, including a business rates reset, in 2021-22.
“Gedling has also received £2,100,000 in total Covid-19 funding this year. Nationally, the Government has allocated over £8 billion to support local authorities.
“While Gedling’s Core Spending Power is now £2.5m lower than in 2015-16, I understand that almost £2m of this fall is attributable to a fall in New Homes Bonus payments as Gedling has fallen short in its house-building targets.
“The New Homes Bonus is a time-limited reward scheme and payments are based on local home building performance. Without this decrease in New Homes Bonus payments, Gedling Borough Council would receive an increase 4.3% in their Core Spending Power since 2015-16, compared with 2.9% for districts generally.
He added: “I note also that Gedling Borough Council chose to freeze its Band D council tax in 2016-17 and 2019-20, resulting in lower revenues.
“Gedling Borough Council did not participate in the consultation for the 2020-2021 settlement. I am pleased that it did make a submission for this settlement, in which a number of interesting points were made, and I was very happy to facilitate a meeting between Gedling Borough Council and the Local Government minister to discuss them.
“I hope that this can be the start of a productive relationship with central government.”
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