MPs call for fair funding

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A cross-party group of MPs has called on the Government to reconsider the impact its funding settlement will have on rural communities.

The group of more than 45 MPs, which includes Sir Alan Beith MP, said the 2013/14 Local Government Financial Settlement threatened to further widen the gap between the funding given to rural and urban councils. This would entrench the injustice suffered by rural areas, it warned.

Urban councils already receive 50 per cent more per head than rural areas despite evidence that many services are more expensive to deliver in sparsely-populated areas.

The Rural Fair Share Campaign is calling on the Government to amend the provisional settlement to reduce the gap between rural and urban councils in the coming year as well as a plan to reduce it to no more than 40 per cent by 2020.

Campaign chairman Graham Stuart, who is also a Conservative MP, said: “The rural voice has been silent for too long.”