The 12 local authorities representing the North East have written to the Secretary of State requesting a fairer deal on local government funding.
The authorities, including Northumberland, have long argued that they have been disproportionately affected by the Government’s funding reductions since 2010 – a position supported by analysis from many commentators including the National Audit Office.
It is important that any funding the Government allocates in the forthcoming settlement is allocated fairly, transparently and based on need, they say.
The councils are asking the Government to take account of core spending power when allocating government funding. This includes all of the funding available to local authorities including council tax.
The 12 councils do recognise that in the longer term, the Fair Funding Review is under way and are fully engaging with this process, however, they are asking that the Secretary of State for Local Government, Sajid Javid, considers these issues if further transitional funding is being made available to support the 2018/19 and future settlements – particularly in relation to how this funding will be distributed.
Coun Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council and vice-chairman of the 12 Local Authorities’ Leaders and Elected Mayors Group, said: “Local authorities in the North East are doing everything they can to balance budgets in extremely difficult circumstances and it is vital that if Government are considering extending the transitional funding arrangements that they look at distributing this money more fairly.”