8 November 2023
Campaign for a fair funding deal: help us get the borough's voice heard
After years of low funding from the Government, Wokingham Borough Council has said enough is enough and is calling on everybody to join its campaign for a Fair Funding Deal.
As local councils across the country struggle, the situation in Wokingham Borough is stark: we receive £30million less per year than the average local unitary authority – that’s £400 less per household per year than the average. We believe this puts an unfair burden on our council taxpayers.
The council has lobbied for a fairer deal but our appeals have not been listened to and so we are now asking residents to support our campaign. We have a short, simple request that would lead to fairer funding. If you agree with us, we are asking you to contact the Secretary of State for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove MP and your local MP to ask them to support us.
Leader of the council Cllr Stephen Conway said: “We owe it to our residents to fight for a fair funding deal and we believe we can harness people power to put pressure on the Government to listen.
“Of course, we realise that some parts of the country have more problems than us – but for us to get £30million less than the average is wrong; it is unfair on our local taxpayers and stops us making the improvements we know we need. I hope all MPs who represent our residents would feel able to back our campaign for a fair funding deal and that Mr Gove listens to the legitimate issues we are raising.
“A key problem with how the Government sets its funding is that it takes almost no account of adult and children social care need costs, which make up the majority of our spending and so it is vital that the increasing expenditure on those vital services is included in Government calculations.
In order to rectify this unfair situation, we are calling for:
A new local government funding model based on the genuine costs of running a Local Authority and asking that future settlements cover a longer period of time to allow for more effective long-term financial planning. It must keep in-line with overall levels of inflation, general cost increases and take full account of local needs in adult and children’s social care.
We believe there are more changes the government could make to improve funding for local councils and limit the number that are getting into serious financial difficulties. Therefore, our second request is that Mr Gove commits to meet representatives from the borough council to learn about the true state of local finances and discuss options for improvement.
Residents who agree with these requests are being asked to support the campaign by emailing Mr Gove. We have a template letter that could be sent or residents can write their own.
Letters can be emailed to:
- Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove: email@example.com
- Wokingham: Sir John Redwood MP: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bracknell: James Sunderland MP: email@example.com
- Reading East: Matt Rodda MP: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Maidenhead: Theresa May MP: email@example.com
Please copy the borough council into your emails (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can follow-up any responses.