Book your place at the National Rural Conference 2022

If your organisation is a member of the RSN through the SPARSE, Rural Assembly, RSP or RHCA you can book your free place at the National Rural Conference now and join rural specialists to debate key issues.  We have over 600 bookings already so book your place now!

Rural Areas still missing out

The Rural Services Network has long campaigned for fair funding for rural areas.  Along with our member local authorities, we aim to influence government policy to fully recognise and address the issues faced by rural communities across England including full recognition of the additional costs of service provision faced by local authorities providing services to those communities

The Government introduced the Rural Services Delivery Grant, previously ESSA (Efficiency Support for Services in Sparse Areas), to recognise the extra costs of delivering services in rural areas.  For 20-21, it has been maintained at £81 Million.  It is however distributed according to a government formula which allocates funding to the top quartile of local authorities on the ‘super-sparsity’ indicator which means that there are authorities delivering services in sparsely populated areas who do not receive RSDG.  We fundamentally disagree with this government decision and have been campaigning with MHCLG for some time about this point as being unfair. 

RSDG is to be discontinued as a separate grant under the Fair Funding Review (FFR) and “rolled-in” with the Needs Formula and re-distribution of retained Business Rates proposals. Therefore, in reality, the issue for the future is not about RSDG per-se but about the provisions to recognise rurality costs in the new formula.

We will continue to work with the Rural Fair Share Group of MP’s to campaign for fairer funding for rural areas.

This story in the Northern Echo, highlights the frustration of authorities such as Durham Council who are not eligible for funding from the RSDG pot according to the Government Formula.

Full article:

The Northern Echo - County Durham missing out on ‘millions’ in rural cash


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