Sheffield wins battle over EU funding rules

Sheffield Town Hall
Sheffield Town Hall
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Sheffield has won a landmark legal case in a battle with the Government over what the city argued were unfair cuts to vital European funding.

The city teamed up with Liverpool to take business ministers to court over their decision to slash EU cash by over 60 per cent.

As a result Sheffield and the surrounding region could benefit by 50 million Euros, cash that would be targeted at economic regeneration.

Rotherham council leader Coun Roger Stone said the Government would now have to reconsider the drastic effects of its funding decision.

“However, we are disappointed that the judge did not agree with us that the methodology used in making the allocation decisions, was so unfair that it was in itself unlawful.

“We do not take legal action lightly.

“But this is a hugely serious matter and we are sure that our people would want us to fight to try and get as much regeneration funding as possible, particularly as the European Union itself said there was a discrepancy.

“There was a lot of money at stake - money that could have made a significant difference to the lives of ordinary people, literally the difference between having the chance of a job or not.”

Sheffield and South Yorkshire will now hope to receive the extra funding over the next six years.

With Liverpool - whose city region also includes, Knowsley, Sefton, Halton, Wirral and St Helens councils - the city argued the funding process was irrational and unfair, and that other areas had not been treated in the same way.

The ruling will not result in the authorities automatically receiving more funding but it does mean the Government will have to reconsider its decision. The case was heard in Leeds last week.