'˜Outrage' - Sheffield Council loses out as '˜Tory Shires' get government funding boost

A decision not to give Sheffield Council a penny from a £300 million government grant for struggling authorities has been slammed by city politicians.

Tuesday, 16th February 2016, 5:00 am
Sheffield has missed out on a £300m grant

Surrey, Hampshire and Kent are among councils which will get tens of millions in aid to ease the burden of ‘cuts’ – but not Sheffield.

Heeley MP Louise Haigh said: “Despite councils across South Yorkshire having already been cut to the bone since 2010 and with reserves dwindling, it is shocking that they are being simply abandoned by the Government.

Sheffield Town Hall

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“It is clear the Tories have given up any pretence of putting the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ on an equal footing with their heartlands.

“This warped settlement sends a very clear message that the Tories favour the most prosperous shires, but for those struggling to cover their basic needs for some of the poorest people in the country the Tories have offered absolutely nothing.”

Communities Secretary Greg Clark announced the £300m ‘transitional grant’ to help struggling councils.

But research has revealed 85 per cent of the cash has gone went to Conservative councils.

Louise Haigh MP outside Parliament

Sheffield faces a further £50m of cuts in addition to £300m over the last five years.

Sheffield Council leader Coun Julie Dore said: “Our Government funding has been cut by more than 50 per cent since 2010 and this government are continuing the coalition’s policy of hitting cities like Sheffield, whilst at the same time they have announced plans to bail out wealthy Tory councils who have received next to no cuts over the last five years.

“We will be facing a further £50 million of cuts which brings it to £350 million in total,.

“You can’t lose this amount of money without seeing a significant impact on services.”

Sheffield Town Hall

Coun Dore added: “It is a disgrace that the Government continue to hit towns and cities like Sheffield the hardest and bail out some of the wealthiest areas of the country who have had the least cuts.

“They have again shown their true colours.”

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: “This long-term funding settlement for councils is fair and ensures those facing the highest demand for services continue to receive more funding and have higher spending power than less deprived authorities.

“Sheffield has benefited significantly from the reforms to the settlement which this Government announced in December, with over £1.6 billion to spend between now and 2020.

Louise Haigh MP outside Parliament

“The North still has higher core spending power per household on average than the rest of England excluding London.”