Sir Albert on “staggering unfairness” of funding settlement

By on 18/12/2013 in Leader

Birmingham City Council Leader, Sir Albert Bore, today gave a furious response to the announcement of local government funding plans for the next two years.

Sir Albert said: “Today's provisional financial settlement confirms our worst fears about the financial crisis that is hitting Birmingham City Council and the city.  It shows that we face even more, big cuts in 2015-16 following the £120m reduction we are consulting on for 2014-15.

“But what is even clearer from today's figures is the staggering unfairness with which cuts are being distributed around the country.  Put simply, the less well-off areas with the greatest needs, such as large regional cities, are seeing spending slashed whilst richer areas in the South East will see increases in funding next year. 

“In 2014-15 Birmingham will lose £145.49 (-5.3%) per dwelling, on the Government's preferred measure of “spending power”.  The national average cut will be less than half that figure at £71.58 (-3.1% for England) per dwelling.  But in leafy Wokingham there will an increase in funding of £5.20 (+ 0.3%) per dwelling.

“But it gets worse in the following year.  In 2015-16 Birmingham will see an even bigger fall in “spending power” of £147.15 (-5.6%) per dwelling.  The national figure will be just £45.18 (-2.0% for England).  But Wokingham will see a whopping increase in funding of £55 (+ 3%) per dwelling.  Increases will also be made to funding in a number of other shire counties such as Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Dorset, Hampshire and Surrey, towns including Poole and Windsor and Maidenhead and shire districts like Mid Sussex and Epsom and Ewell.

“We have been saying for two years that the spending cuts are being unfairly loaded onto local government and then unfairly applied between different areas.  But these latest figures make that unfairness even clearer and show that the Government has no interest whatsoever in listening to the voice of the less well-off parts of our country.”

18/12/2013

Notes to Editors

 Today's announcement contains complex data and is only for consultation at this point, so the detailed implications for the city council's budget will not be known until the final announcement in the New Year and after further analysis has been carried out.
Spending Power (the Government's preferred measure) amalgamates all funding going into a local area.  It includes elements such as schools funding over which the city council has no control.  The Spending Power figures for Birmingham are as follows:
2013-14                £1,173.796m
2014-15                £1,111.301m
Change               -£62.495m (-5.3%)
Per Dwelling        -£145.49
England               -£71.58 (-3.1%)

2014-15 Adj         £1,119.501m
2015-16               £1,056.293m
Change              -£63.209m (-5.6%)
Per Dwelling       -£147.15
England              -£45.18 (-2.0%)

The “Start-up funding” (the grant that comes to Birmingham City Council) is due to fall as follows:

2013-14  £786.651m
2014-15   £706.984m
Change  - £79.667m (-10.1%)
2015-16   £603.521m 
Change  - £103.463m (-14.6%)

Some spending power changes in better off areas in 2015-16:

Shire counties

Buckinghamshire   +£38.66 per dwelling
Cambridgeshire   +£22.00
Dorset    +£29.58
East Sussex    +£12.36
Essex     +£13.48
Gloucestershire   +£10.00
Hampshire    +£36.47
Hertfordshire   +£29.15
Surrey    +£50.79
West Sussex   +£44.01

All-purpose authorities

Poole     +£33.33 per dwelling
West Berkshire   +£32.58
Wiltshire    +£24.57
Windsor and Maidenhead +£41.42
Wokingham    +£55.05

Shire Districts

Aylesbury Vale   +£3.12 per dwelling
Tewksbury    +£1.90
Tonbridge and Malling  +£2.18
Epsom and Ewell   +£7.09
Horsham    +£3.80
Mid Sussex    +£6.05

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