George Eustice has welcomed the announcement by Greg Clark, Secretary of State at the Department for Communities & Local Government, that he has revised the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement to ensure Cornwall and other rural Local Authorities receive their fair share of funding.
Under these revised proposals, the Rural Services Delivery Grant will be increased fivefold from £15.5million in 2015/16 to £80.5 million in 2016/17-recognition of the extra costs faced in delivering services in rural areas. Cornwall Council in particular will received £2.95 million in additional RSDG funding in 2016/17 and £1.46 million in 2017/18.
In addition, a transitional grant of £150 million will be made available to rural councils, as they move away from being funded via the Revenue Support Grant to being entirely self-funded by Business Rates Retention.
The Secretary of State also announced that a new funding formula will be introduced to take into account the ageing demographic of rural areas, addressing the traditional funding gap between rural and urban council.
George said “I am pleased the Secretary of State has listened to the concerns of myself and other Cornish MP’s and agreed to revise his original proposals and pledged to increase the funding given to rural councils. Areas like Cornwall have long been underfunded when compared to urban Local Authorities and the increase in the Rural Services Delivery Grant is an important step in the right direction.”