Mark Whitehead 26 April 2023

Poorest councils suffer cuts three times higher than richest

Poorest councils suffer cuts three times higher than richest image
Image: Becky Stares /

The poorest councils have suffered cuts in Government funding nearly three times higher than the richest, according to a research group.

The Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities (SIGOMA) says that on average the most deprived councils in England have received a 28.3% cut in the last 13 years while the richest 10 have received only 10.1% reduction.

It is calling for fundamental reform of Government funding to create a fairer system and fulfil the ‘levelling up’ agenda.

It says structures that support the fair distribution of funds raised through taxation have been replaced by ones that tend to reward high-value housing stock and a large and thriving business rate base.

Failure to reset business rates growth has unfairly disadvantaged the poorest councils over the last three years.

The group’s chair Sir Stephen Houghton, leader of Barnsley Council, said: ‘The system needs serious reform.

‘Reversing the trends will not happen overnight and we need to introduce a new model that reforms local Government finance to create a fairer funding system.’

‘The poorest areas have seen the biggest cuts and for “levelling up” to mean anything the Government should be looking to reverse these cuts and create a funding formula that funding according to council needs.’

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