High Peak MP Ruth George calls for better funding deal for Derbyshire

High Peak MP, Ruth George, has repeated her call for a better funding deal for the county council which has seen a 60% cut in grant funding from the government.

Speaking ahead of the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, Ruth George said:

“I’m very concerned about funding for Derbyshire County Council which has seen cuts of 60% to grant funding from government, leading to drastic cuts to our schools, nurseries, libraries, special needs funding, social care and care homes, with more cuts on the way to learning disability support, school meals and Early Help for children at risk of harm.  At the same time, council tax and business rates have risen rapidly and caused hardship to many small businesses and to people on low incomes.

“So I’ve been making the case for additional funding for Derbyshire since my election, including speaking up for our county in last month’s debate on the Local Government Finance settlement.

“I’m vice-chair of the All-Party Counties Group, which is spear-heading the case for Fair Funding for our shire counties in Parliament.

“But I’m clear that simply seeking to redistribute an ever-decreasing pot of money would mean any extra for Derbyshire would be limited and another area loses out even more.  Such a strategy cannot on its own fix the problems caused by the Conservative government’s 60% cuts to councils’  main funding grants.

“I believe that austerity is damaging our council services and our communities.  We need more funding for all councils in the Comprehensive Spending Review.  I will be pressing for this and I hope that Derbyshire’s Conservatives will too.”

“I travel to Matlock to meet senior council officers regularly to discuss the situation of council services in High Peak, the impact of the cuts and need for more funding, and I’m in regular correspondence on particular issues such as special needs policy, places at local schools, cuts to the Voluntary Sector and social care which I raise with ministers and in Parliament.

“I was given short notice of last week’s meeting and was unable to make it, but I fully support better funding for Derbyshire and for all councils that have seen their funding cut by similar levels to Derbyshire’s 60%.”