Hunter challenges Secretary of State: "Stop short-changing Stockport"

December 10, 2009 6:25 PM
Mark is speaking up for our area in Parliament

Mark is speaking up for our area in Parliament

People across Stockport are getting a raw deal from the Government because of a "monumental fiddle" costing Stockport council tax payers £3.5 million over the next two years, local MP Mark Hunter told Parliament last night in a House of Commons debate.

Official figures show that Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council will receive £1.752m LESS in 2009/10 and £1.722m LESS in 2010/11 than recommended by the Government's own funding formula. There will also be a shortfall of £0.8m in 2009/10 and £0.66m in 2010/11 in the Supporting People budget, and a further £0.17m shortfall in Housing Subsidy Transitional Protection in 2009/10.

Mr Hunter highlighted Stockport's plight in the debate, and challenged Secretary of State for Local Government John Denham on the Government's apparent lack of concern over adequate funding for Stockport's council services. The Minister said only that 'under a funding formula, at any one time some authorities are above the strict position in the formula and others below it'. He also said that 'there is always a process of flaws and transitional arrangements'. A response which was dismissed by Mr Hunter as 'mealy mouthed'.

Commenting, Mark Hunter MP said:

"I am outraged at the Government's lack of consideration for our area. Stockport is constantly being short-changed by this Government, and local council tax payers are paying the price.

"We all realise times are tough, and accept cuts may have to fall in some areas, but in this case the money is clearly there. The Government are continuing to overpay some councils and under fund others.

"After 12 years of being in Government it's about time Labour stopped cooking the books and put them in order instead."

What would you like to do next?