RSN calls on government for a fairer share of funding for rural areas

As the government starts work on the Provisional Local Government Funding Settlement for 2024/25, due for release in December, RSN Chief Executive Kerry Booth has written to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP (Con, Surrey Heath), asking him for a fairer deal for rural local authorities. 

The current settlement for 2023/24 meant that urban councils received 38% MORE per head in Government Funded Spending Power, than rural councils.  That equates to £135 per head.  Historic underfunding of rural councils has meant that Council tax has increased over the years to balance the books which has resulted in rural residents paying this year as much as £110 per head more compared to urban residents.  Meanwhile, due to the higher costs of providing services in rural areas, these communities consequently receive fewer services per head.  For example, in rural areas residents will receive 13% less per head in social care support overall. 

RSN Chief Executive Kerry Booth says this is an opportunity for the government to correct this inequity for future generations:

“We are still feeling the legacy of the 2013/2014 formula decision and no amount of ‘one-off additional funding’ will change this.  Rural communities need a fair deal from the beginning, and this has to start with getting the Local Government Funding Formula calculations correct now. 

“I will be writing to all rural Council Leaders and rural MPs over the coming days to ask them to join our campaign for Fair Funding and I urge you all to support this work.”

You can find full details of the RSN Fair Funding Campaign here
and Kerry’s Open Letter to Michael Gove MP here


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