Leicestershire’s push for fair funding has taken a step forward after a positive meeting with the Chancellor in Downing Street.
County council chiefs and local MPs met Jeremy Hunt to set out how an outdated system means that Leicestershire receives less than half the money of the best funded areas.
Council leader, Nick Rushton, deputy leader, Deborah Taylor and cabinet member for resources, Lee Breckon also presented a pragmatic, temporary fix which would see Government put in an extra £350 million to level up 32 of the lowest funded councils.
Follow up meetings with local government minister, Lee Rowley, and Government officials are already being arranged.
If Leicestershire was funded at the average level for English councils, it would receive an extra £130m a year.
Clearly national finances are stretched but this a good first step. The Chancellor listened carefully to our case for change and our concerns that better funded and poorly run councils are rewarded. The Chancellor appreciated our approach of presenting a credible solution rather than just complaining about the problem.
We pride ourselves on doing the best we can with the money we have and our approach to efficiency – including our hat trick of awards from IMPOWER – was well received by the Chancellor.
With the longer term financial challenge growing, we’re committed to keeping up momentum and delivering for our residents. And we have a solution which can be implemented cheaply and quickly. To keep the ball rolling, we’ll be meeting Local Government Minister, Lee Rowley, to talk about this in more detail.
I’d like to thank our local MPs for securing such a constructive meeting.
Person:Nick Rushton, council leader
Six county MPs took part in the meeting at the end of April: Edward Argar, Alberto Costa, Luke Evans, Jane Hunt, Alicia Kearns and Neil O'Brien.