Rural Funding Highlighted in Recent Cornwall Funding Debate

A recent parliamentary debate has shed light on the stark funding disparities between urban and rural areas, with a particular focus on Cornwall. The debate, which was held on 15th January 2024, brought to the forefront the ongoing challenges that rural communities face when it comes to accessing adequate funding for essential services.

During the debate, Steve Double, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay, made a poignant statement regarding special education needs (SEN) funding. Double, in his closing remarks, emphasised the pressing need for fair and equitable funding, stating,

"Based on provisional funding data for 2024-25, Cornwall will receive annual needs funding per child of £724.14. That ranks us 142nd among local authorities. Our statistical neighbours—local authorities with similar characteristics—are due to receive an average of £78.49 per child per year more than Cornwall. In comparison, parents in London boroughs such as Camden, Lewisham, Islington, or Westminster can expect their high-needs child to receive something in the region of £2,500 to £3,000."

Derek Thomas, MP for St Ives, further emphasised the funding gap by presenting compelling statistics. In a pivotal moment during the debate, Thomas stated,

"It's vital to understand that rural areas like Cornwall have been consistently underfunded for years. As of today, our communities receive on average 30% less funding per capita compared to urban areas, creating significant challenges for the delivery of essential public services."

This debate highlights the crucial need to tackle the funding imbalances experienced by rural areas, such as those in Cornwall. It serves as a clear indication of the necessity for a just and balanced allocation of resources, ensuring that rural communities have the necessary support to offer vital services to their inhabitants.

You can read the full debate and gain a comprehensive understanding of the issues discussed here and find out about the RSN Fair Funding Campaign here.


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