William Eichler 12 January 2016

North Yorkshire to criticise Government over ‘unfair’ funding settlement

North Yorkshire County Council is to make urgent representations to the Government about what they claim is an unfair local authority funding settlement.

North Yorkshire County Council argues that the 2016/17 funding settlement requires the council to make bigger than anticipated savings, sooner than expected.

Following the government's decision to redistribute funds according to authorities' ability to raise money from council taxes, counties have seen a much bigger reduction in funding while metropolitan districts and inner London boroughs have seen smaller reductions than anticipated.

This means North Yorkshire has to find an additional £11m in savings in the coming financial year and a further £9m more than anticipated in 2017/18.

Even if it increases council tax, the county council needs to make savings of a further £82.5m by 2019/20 on top of the £91.1m made between 2011/12 and 2014/15, giving a total of £173.6m over the decade.

This would mean a 34% reduction in the council’s spending power.

The council will make representations concerning the funding settlement as part of the government's consultation, which ends on 15 January.

County councillor Carl Les, leader of North Yorkshire County Council, emphasised that Yorkshire understands the need for austerity.

However, he argued: ‘The settlement does not properly reflect need in North Yorkshire, where the sparse, rural nature of the county makes the cost of delivering services higher than in more condensed urban settings.’

He added: ‘We would welcome the settlement being subjected to the rural proofing test recently announced by the Government.’

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