Revealed: Gulf in Government funding between Hull and East Riding
THE funding gap between what neighbouring local councils receive from Whitehall has been revealed in a new report.
Politicians in the East Riding have long complained about being under-funded in comparison with other local authorities.
New figures presented to East Riding scrutiny councillors have confirmed their beliefs.
They show government funding received by the East Riding equates to £374 per head of population.
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That is lower than the average for councils classed as predominantly rural authorities, in which more than half of the population live in rural areas.
The East Riding falls into the same category, with 71 per cent of its population classed as rural.
The £374-per-head figure also compares unfavourably with Hull, which receives just over £700 per head from the Government. The city council's higher direct funding is primarily attributable to Hull having higher levels of deprivation.
But the figures show the East Riding is also lagging behind its other Humber neighbours, with both North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire also receiving more funding per head.
Local MPs have recently backed campaigns led by the Sparsity Partnership for Authorities Delivering Rural Services and the so-called F4 Group of the 40 lowest-funded education authorities.
Councillor Brian Skow, chairman of the East Riding's corporate and communities scrutiny committee, said: "We get far less than Hull but cover a much bigger geographical area."
Councillor Paul Hogan said: "This report does highlight a huge issue for councils like ours."
Council chief accountant Jim Wright said the higher cost of delivering services such as education, social care and household waste collections across a large rural area like the East Riding was not factored into the formula used by the government to decide on local council funding.
As a result, he said it usually meant people living in rural areas faced higher council tax bills than their urban neighbours.
Council tax bills in the East Riding currently cost residents £440 per head – £42 higher than the average for predominantly urban local authorities.
It is also higher than comparative figures for both South Bank councils.
The campaigns hope to prompt a government rethink of next year's funding settlement for local councils.
But Councillor Mary Rose Hardy said: "We were asking for this 18 years ago when I was part of a delegation to lobby ministers. I will not be holding my breath."