Rural Fair Funding Campaign

Sparse Rural represents rural local authorities and is campaigning for Fairer Funding for Rural Areas.

Did you know that in the Local Government Finance Settlement for 2021-22

→ Urban areas in 21/22 will still receive some 61% (£107) per head in Settlement Funding Assessment grant more than their rural counterparts

→ Rural residents will pay, on average, 19% (£96) per head more in Council Tax than their urban counterparts due to receiving less government grant

→ Rural residents will fund 69% of their Local Government Spending Power through Council Tax compared with urban residents who fund theirs by 57%

→ Rural residents pay more, receive fewer services and, on average, earn less than those in urban areas and that is inequitable

What is happening in rural areas?

Under successive governments, the formulae used to determine the Local Government Finance Settlement has resulted in rural areas being significantly underfunded when compared to urban areas for decades.

It costs more to deliver services in rural areas.

We want fairer funding for rural areas.

We appreciate that we are in difficult financial times however we are campaigning for a fairer distribution of the funds which the Government decides to allocate to support local government services, so that historical imbalances where rural areas are penalised, do not continue.

When the Government is focused on levelling-up the country, the RSN is calling for the Government to not leave behind our rural communities.

Our Asks of Government

Public Sector Funding: Public services should be fairly funded to ensure that additional costs of delivering rural services are recognised and adequately funded.  Rurality costs are about much more than 'travel related costs'.

Recognising Rural Need: Government should take full account of the needs of rural areas, their economies, and their communities and that the impacts of any measures flowing from it are both proportionate to rural areas and demonstrably properly rural proofed.

There is still a further £65M due as Rural Services Delivery Grant (RSDG) (to compensate for the damping of the 2013 changes to the formula)

RSDG should go to all authorities exemplified by the then DCLG as benefitting from the 2012 Consultation  formula changes

What are we doing about it?

We work alongside the Rural Fair Share Campaign grouping of MPs who have come together to argue for fairer funding for services across rural England.

The RSN carries out consultation with member organisations to ensure that our response to the Local Government Provisional Settlement is representative of the views of our rural members. 

The RSN will continue to press Government on our Asks (developed in consultation with members) for the 2021 Spending Review given that the November 2020 Review was for one year only.  Issues arising from the 2020 Spending Review (especially regarding digital connectivity) will be represented to the Government.

We ensure that the rural voice is included in consultation responses to the Government.

  • The response of the RSN to the Comprehensive Spending Review is available here.
  • To view the supporting information to the RSN submission, please click here.   

The supporting information document contains facts and figures and a number of policy asks on Government.

The call for Fair Funding is an integral part of our Revitalising Rural Campaign.  Click here to find out more about our asks of Government.

To view the evidence provided by the RSN Chief Executive (Graham Biggs) regarding the Fair Funding Review of Local Government - given to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy, click here

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