Government cut could see ‘unfair’ 96 per cent reduction in Havering Council funding
07:00 13 January 2017
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Romford MP Andrew Rosindell has slammed a government grant to the council, saying the borough is not getting a fair deal.
He has called on the government to review the funding formula which distributes money from central to local governments after calling the system “flawed” and “neither objective nor fair” to Havering residents.
The government’s revenue support grant to the council is due to be cut by £19.5million in 2019/2020 – a staggering 96 per cent reduction.
For the financial year 2017/18, the grant will be reduced from £20.9m to £12.3m.
Havering is the lowest funded east London borough per head of population.
This comes as Havering Council launched a consultation on adding a levy on council tax of three per cent, in a bid to ease growing pressures on adult social services as part of next year’s budget proposals.
With the largest population of over-65s in London and 65 care homes, demand for social care services is reaching a peak.
Mr Rosindell’s comments follow a meeting with leader of the council Cllr Roger Ramsey, chief executive Andrew Blake-Herbert and the Minister for Local Government Marcus Jones in Parliament on Wednesday to lobby the government about changing the financial arrangement.
Cllr Ramsey told the Recorder the government’s distribution of money to the council was “desperately unfair” and a “continuing injustice”. He explained the formula was “inadequate” and based on figures from 2013.
He said the council was trying to plan ahead and generate income – such as the solar parks proposal – in order to bridge the funding gap, but there was “much uncertainty” about the future.
“We are going to reach a point when we say enough is enough and the government is going to have to do something. We’ll continue to press the government about this until someone listens.”