It’s time to stop the people of Leicestershire getting a "raw deal" – that’s the stark message at the heart of renewed calls for fair funding.
Leicestershire remains the lowest-funded county in the country. If it was funded at the same level as Surrey, it would be £104 million per year better off, or £350 million, compared to Camden.
Now, with budget pressures intensifying, the County Council is stepping up its campaign and saying the time is right to make fair funding a reality.
Today (Tuesday), interactive charts have been published illustrating key facts and figures and a new formula drawn up by the council.
Over the next month, the council is asking people to explore these and send in their views.
More than half our yearly £350 million net spend supports children, adults and families who really need our help.Person:Deputy council leader, Byron Rhodes
But with a growing and ageing population ramping up demands on services, it’s clear we need to step up our call for reform.
The current system is broken. It’s out-of-date, overly complex and unclear. And critically, it doesn’t match funding with an area’s needs, creating a postcode lottery.
Low funding remains our Achilles’ heel. Without a fair system, we could be cutting to the bone of public services.
For many years, the council has been pressing for reform. Last year, supported by Leicestershire’s seven MPs, it presented a new simplified funding model to ministers and senior civil servants at Westminster.
Coun Rhodes continued: “The present system is riddled with inconsistencies – Lincolnshire, Leeds, Derby, Leicestershire and others are low-funded, whilst Richmond, Surrey and London boroughs are high-funded.
“We’ve developed a simple, clear formula, based on factors that drive demand for local services. It allocates money in a fair way, based on need, and narrows the gap between the highest and lowest funded councils.
“Supported by our local MPs, our campaign has borne fruit, but now is the time to end Leicestershire’s raw deal. If there’s no change, we will have to go back to the drawing board and find more radical ways of saving money.”
Residents’ feedback will be sent to the government - explore the interactive charts, watch videos and send in comments