The leader of Northamptonshire County Council says they`ll continue do whatever it takes to get a fairer funding deal from the Government.
Heather Smith says Northants is one of the fastest growing counties in the country but isn`t getting enough money for services compared to other local authorities in the country.
Below is Mrs Smith`s case;
“Northamptonshire is one of the lowest funded counties in the country. That’s why we’re campaigning for a fairer funding deal for Northamptonshire.
We receive £673 per person to spend on local services in this county. By comparison, Inner London gets more than £1,000 per person.
If we were to receive the same funding per head of population as East Sussex County Council, which has a significantly smaller population, we’d receive an extra £115m to spend on local services every year. This equates to an additional £159 per person.
Why does Northamptonshire receive such a low level of funding?
The current funding formula does not take into account today’s demand levels and population data.
Northamptonshire has one of the fastest growing populations in the country. Demand for our services is growing at an unprecedented rate.
For example, over the last three years we’ve seen the number of looked after children in Northamptonshire rise from 850 to 1,050, while we have one of the most pressurised health economies in England.
What are we doing to manage our financial challenge?
Since 2010, we have delivered savings totalling £376 million including some very difficult decisions affecting local services.
By 2021, our total savings will have risen to £0.5 billion. Unfortunately, this still isn’t enough.
We’re doing all we can to balance our budgets. We’re transforming the way we deliver public services in the county to keep costs low and ensure value for money for taxpayers.
Not only that, our staff haven’t had a pay increment for three years and we’ve cut sick pay for staff.
But we need an urgent review of the Government’s funding formula for local councils to ensure we get a fair deal for residents.
We’re asking for the Government to:
•make the improved Better Care Fund part of the base budget
•provide an extension of capital flexibilities
•remove the threshold for a Council Tax referendum
•provide financial assistance for the rising Looked After Children population
•provide full cost recovery for Unaccompanied Asylum Seekers
What happens next?
We are encouraging our county MPs to take our campaign to Parliament to fight for a fairer funding deal for Northamptonshire.
We are also continuing to discuss our severe financial challenge with the Secretary of State and the Department for Communities and Local Government in a bid to secure a review of the current funding formula.”