Essex County Council calls for a fairer deal after report reveals Londoners get triple the Government funding per person
PUBLISHED: 13:46 23 September 2017 | UPDATED: 13:46 23 September 2017
Essex County Council is calling for a fairer funding deal after a new report reveals residents receive 66% less funding than people in London.
The report, from the County Councils Network (CCN), shows counties nationwide get an average of just £271 of government funding for services per person – compared to £563 per person in boroughs in the capital.
In Essex this figure is even lower, at just £193 per person.
To combat this gap in funding the council has decided to take a stand, launching a new campaign to fight for a fairer slice of the Government’s cash.
David Finch, Leader of the Essex County Council said: It’s outrageous that residents in London get more than triple the funding per person for services for people in Essex.
“In Essex, with out partners from the County Councils Network, we are launching a campaign and will be lobbying our MPs, along with ministers, for a #FairDeal4Essex.
“With news today that the UK deficit has hit an all-time low the Chancellor should have significant funding to help local authorities.
“We want a fair deal so we can deliver our organisation priorities for our great county.
“We want to enable inclusive economic growth, help people get the best start in life and age well, and help create great places to grow up, live and work.
“We also want to change how we work at the council so we can deliver the best value for money for your council tax.”
County councils were set for a boost in funding by collecting 100% of locally raised business rates, but this is now in doubt after the Local Government Finance Bill was dropped from the agenda.
“This would have enabled us to plan for social care, housing, new roads and infrastructure,” said Cllr Finch.
“Instead we may have to reshuffle our already stretched resources.
“We want to drive prosperity for everyone in Essex and if the government increased our funding to bring us in line with our far richer London neighbours, then we could achieve so much more. “It’s time for change, it’s time the Government gave Essex a fair deal.”
You can support the campaign on Facebook and Twitter by searching the #fairdeal4essex or by writing to your Essex MP or Sajid Javid MP, secretary of state for local government.
This week, the council launched a video showcasing a united vision for he county over the next 20 years, backed by more than 50 major organisations.
The video features 75 local people – from an Oysterman in Mersea Island to the RNLI Lifeguards at Brightlingsea – who all back the movement with the motto ‘Change is unstoppable. And so are we.’