'There just isn't enough funding' say county council chiefs in pledge to lobby Government for more after election

County council chiefs have blamed outdated central government systems for 'unfair funding' in the Northamptonshire.

Friday, 21st April 2017, 5:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 8:20 pm
Andre Gonzalez de Savage, Sajid Javid and Heather Smith at the tory manifesto launch party yesterday.

Several members of cabinet and the leader, Heather Smith, claimed that councils inside London get better deals on their council taxes and that 'there just isn't the funding' in Northamptonshire to finish vital projects like the North-West Relief Road.

Central Government awarded nearly £8 million to the county in March to finish the long-awaited North West bypass.

Cabinet member for Transport and Highways Ian Morris said yesterday (April 21): "There just isn't enough funding.

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"It's a question of funds to deliver these projects. There needs to be a major change in Central Government to fairly distribute funding."

They made the comments at a launch party at the County Cricket Club for the Northamptonshire Conservative manifesto ahead of the county election on May 4.

Leader Councillor Heather Smith pledged she would lobby central government for 'fairer funding', saying: "Boroughs in London are getting a much lower council tax on much larger houses compared to Northamptonshire. That is based on historic systems and deprivation that doesn't apply now.

"We want to change that nationally and have the money redistributed on a fair basis. If we can a Tory government working both nationally and locally then we can work to push these changes through."

Northamptonshire has the lowest county council tax in England, according to the manifesto published yesterday (April 21).

Countywide spokesman for UKIP, Jonathan Bullock, said: "Northamptonshire has been controlled by the Tories for 12 years and they've also had central Government since 2015. They've had the chance to work locally and nationally to afford more funding. Instead, we're one of the least funded counties in the country."

Northamptonshire's Labour leader John McGee said: "We have two Tory MPs and amongst some of the lowest funding in the country.

"I'd like the remind the Northamptonshire County Council that we have had a Tory majority for 12 years. I don't believe we are in the mess we're in now solely because of central government funding."

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid attended the party yesterday. He said: "I do think funding could be distributed more fairly, but we need to secure a stable relationship between local and national government."