We were all stunned by the very obviously panicked announcement yesterday of 'transitional funding' for certain parts of local government, perhaps because most councils have already published their budget plans for next year. However what's even more shocking is the split of which authorities are getting the lion's share (of course no transparency whatsoever over why, but there's an obvious correlation with a certain political party being in control).
Jo Lovelock, the leader of Reading Borough Council told the Labour group this, and has given us permission to share it more widely:
We now have a fuller picture of the government announcement yesterday. Those authorities who did badly out of the new method for calculating government grant will get two years of transitional one-off funding, but needless to say our affluent neighbours have done better than us:
· Reading: £400k per year - £800k in total
· Slough: Nothing
· West Berks: £1.4million per year - £2.8million in total
· Wokingham: £2.1million per year - £4.2million in total
· Windsor & M'head £1.3million per year - £2.6million in total
· Bracknell £920K per year - £1.84million in total
So the government has taken an extra £5millon from Reading in this coming year and only given back £400k to the Borough with highest needs and given back more than 3 times that to the most affluent area! What does Rob Wilson say to that?
It doesn't change any budget decisions and at best helps very slightly with cash flow over the next 2 years before it disappears.
Nationally this is being funded by £150million for two years – not clear where they've got it from.
What a way to run the country and they expect us to do a 4 year plan!