The provisional local government finance settlement is usually announced in Parliament at the end of December – just before Christmas. A debate BEFORE this is what I am after – to highlight the unjust situation of rural councils who often get ignored in the face of more vociferous lobbying from urban councils. In October, 62 MPs (including Conservative, Labour and Lib Dems) signed a letter calling for a fairer funding settlement for rural areas. The Rural Fair Share Campaign has over a hundred Parliamentary Patrons, who have supported our campaign throughout the previous Parliament and the current one. There was last a Backbench Business debate on the topic of ‘Funding for Local Authorities’ in October 2013. Given the fact that the per person funding gap between urban and rural councils still stands at 45%, the issue requires further debate as a matter of urgency. Today I will be arguing for action at a meeting of the special committee that allocates debates. Hopefully they will agree.
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