Plymouth loses £4million a year in Government funding as package is agreed
A GOVERNMENT funding package that will see Plymouth lose £4 million has been given the go-ahead.
The finalised cash settlement will mean the city council having £3,986,000 million less to spend on services in the coming year according to updated Whitehall figures – a fall of 1.8 per cent. The average cut nationally was 1.7 per cent.
So-called "spending power" bundles together all funding including council tax raised locally, NHS funding for social care, and cash for building new homes.
Devon will see the amount it has to spend cut by £11.3million (2.1 per cent), and Cornwall £7.2 million (1.5 per cent).
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The South Hams will see its spending pot remain almost unchanged.
The local government finance report, confirming the financial settlements, was approved in the Commons by 274 votes to 196, Government majority 78.
It was supported by Conservatives Oliver Colvile for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, Sheryll Murray for South East Cornwall, and Gary Streeter for South West Devon. Labour's Alison Seabeck for Plymouth Moor View voted against.
Speaking in the Commons, Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis said by making small savings across departments, local authorities could save significant amounts of money.
He said: "That is what we should be doing. We should not be scoffing at small savings. They add up to big amounts of money."
There would be an extra £9.2 million for councils in financial difficulty, while those authorities which tried to create new jobs or build homes would gain the financial benefit through keeping a share of their business rates or the new homes bonus.
The Minister added: " The settlement should silence deficit deniers. It is fair to north and south, fair to urban and rural, fair to poor and rich authorities. It is a settlement that rewards innovation, imagination, and delivery for residents."
Shadow Communities Secretary Hilary Benn argued local councils were now facing the "largest cuts in government funding in the political lifetime of every single one of us sitting in this House".