Spotlight on fairer funding to address the local penalty
The RSN is calling on government to produce a fully funded, comprehensive rural strategy. In this strategy there are a number of areas which we believe are linked, and need to be addressed to produce a vibrant rural community. One of these is fairer funding to address the local penalty
Rural Communities have been historically underfunded by successive Governments. The needs of rural communities are best met when policy decisions are taken locally by those who understand the area. This means fairly funding services.
- Urban areas in 2019/2020 receive on average 66% (£119) more than rural areas in Local Government Settlement Funding Assessment.
- Rural residents pay on average 20.7% (£98) more in council tax than urban counterparts due to receiving less Government grant.
- Rural residents fund 69% of their Local Government spending power through council tax compared to urban residents who fund theirs by 56%.
- Rural residents pay more, receive fewer services, and on average, earn less than those in urban areas and this is inequitable.
- At the very local level there are roughly 10,000 Parish and Town Councils, mostly in rural areas. Increasingly they are taking onfaciliteis and services which principal local authorities can no longer afford to run.
The extend of community activism and self help is a positive feature found in many rural communities. However there are significant challenges which should be addressed:
- Ensure that rural public services are fairly funded.
- Ensure that local authorities retain the capacity to service their rural communities.
- Boosting the capcity of town and parish councils to bring about local solutions.
- Providing support infrastructure to facilitate community action in more areas.