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The Rural Services Network (RSN) has welcomed the Government's decision to release extra funding in next year's finance settlement for rural councils.

Northumberland Gazette latest
Northumberland Gazette latest

Responding to a written statement by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the final local government finance settlement for 2018-19 last week, RSN chief executive Graham Biggs MBE said: “Both in our formal response to the provisional settlement for 2018-19 and in subsequent discussions direct with the Local Government Minister, we raised serious concerns about the proposed removal of transitional relief and about the gap in terms of government funding per head of population between urban and rural areas.

“We particularly raised deep concern about the funding of adult social care in rural areas.

“This announcement of £150million for an (England-wide) Adult Social Care Support Grant – although figures as to its distribution to individual authorities has not been made available yet – plus an additional £16million for Rural Services Delivery Grant is a clear measure of success for the representations we made.

“Indeed, the Rural Services Network is specifically mention in the briefing pack issued by the Government.

“The Secretary of State’s statement that he is committed to ensuring the needs of rural areas are met and his recognition of the particular costs of providing services in sparse rural areas are particularly welcomed.

“We will be watching closely to make sure they follow through to cash in council budgets with the new needs formula being developed for implementation in 2020-21.”