Sparse Rural represents rural local authorities and is campaigning for Fairer Funding for Rural Areas.
The Final Local Government Finance Settlement was published on 6th February 2023. It can be viewed at this link
Did you know that in the Final Local Government Finance Settlement for 2023-24
- Urban local authorities will receive some 38% (£135) MORE in Government Funded Spending Power per head compared to rural authorities.
- Rural residents will pay, on average, 20.2% (£110) MORE per head in Council Tax than their urban counterparts due to receiving less government grant
- Rural residents will get 13% LESS per head in social care support overall
Rural residents pay more, receive fewer services and, on average, earn less than those in urban areas and that is inequitable
Under successive governments, the formulae used to determine the Local Government Finance Settlement has resulted in rural areas being significantly underfunded when compared to urban areas for decades.
It costs more to deliver services in rural areas.
We want fairer funding for rural areas.
We appreciate that we are in difficult financial times however we are campaigning for a fairer distribution of the funds which the Government decides to allocate to support local government services, so that historical imbalances where rural areas are penalised, do not continue.
When the Government is focused on levelling-up the country, the RSN is calling for the Government to not leave behind our rural communities.
Public Sector Funding: Public services should be fairly funded to ensure that additional costs of delivering rural services are recognised and adequately funded. Rurality costs are about much more than 'travel related costs'.
Recognising Rural Need: Government should take full account of the needs of rural areas, their economies, and their communities and that the impacts of any measures flowing from it are both proportionate to rural areas and demonstrably properly rural proofed.
We work alongside the Rural Fair Share Campaign grouping of MPs who have come together to argue for fairer funding for services across rural England.
The RSN carries out consultation with member organisations to ensure that our response to the Local Government Provisional Settlement is representative of the views of our rural members.
We ensure that the rural voice is included in consultation responses to the Government.
The call for Fair Funding is an integral part of our Revitalising Rural Campaign. Click here to find out more about our asks of Government.
What can you do about it?
If you are a local authority you can write to your MP to get them to ensure rural areas get a fair share of funding ahead of the next Local Government Finance Settlement.
RSN Chief Executive Kerry Booth has written to Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, calling on him to ensure rural areas get a fairer share of funding ahead of the next Local Government Finance Settlement. Read the letter in full here.
Local Government Finance Settlement increased Rural Services Delivery Grant by £10 Million to £95Million.
RSN sent rural MPs individual constituency analysis of Local Government Finance Settlement for 2022/2023 and implications for their rural communities.
The local authorities who form the Sparse Rural membership were sent tailored analysis of the Provisional Settlement.
16th Jan 23 - Meeting of Sparse Rural Local Authorities to discuss Local Government Finance Settlement and implications for rural authorities
6th Dec 22 - Alongside a number of rural MPs the RSN, via the APPG on Rural Services, held a meeting with Rt Hon Lee Rowley MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the DHLUC).
The purpose of this meeting was to discuss Local Authority Funding and the impact in rural areas of the Autumn Statement.
At this meeting a number of documents were presented and discussed:
A Levelling Up Rural Britain Backbench debate was held.
The debate was based on recent RSN commissioned research which shows:
Were England’s rural communities a distinct region, their need for Levelling Up (based on the Governments figures) would be greater than that of any other part of the country.
- This research can be found here
Highlights of this debate can be viewed below:
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