RAW DEAL: How Peterborough is being short-changed by the Government
Peterborough is not receiving the same level of government funding as other parts of the country for its public services, research from the Peterborough Telegraph has revealed.
Our analysis highlights that Peterborough could receive millions of pounds of additional money if it received the same level of funding per person as other areas:
- All Peterborians could receive a 48 per cent cut in their annual council tax bill if the city council received the same level of funding per person as the average London borough.
- Our police force is one of the lowest funded forces in terms of money per person in England.
- An additional £30 million would be available for health services in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire if funding was in line with the national average.
Leading figures in Peterborough, in response to the PT’s figures, are calling on the Government to make sure the city receives fairer funding for its public services.
MP for Peterborough Fiona Onasanya said: “These figures are shocking even if not altogether surprising; for far too long Peterborough’s needs have not been properly or adequately assessed resulting in our city being underfunded in crucial areas such as health and policing, when compared to the rest of the country.
“This is why I, along with my Labour colleagues, will continue to lobby the Government on Peterborough’s behalf. The present settlement is both unsustainable and unacceptable.”
North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara said: “I commend the Peterborough Telegraph on this extensive piece of research.
“We are living in times of austerity and difficult decisions have to be made to ensure we have a strong economy that is capable of supporting our public services.
“It is important to remember that comparison with other areas is never on a like for like basis and a number of factors are taken into consideration in each individual case.
“More money is not always the answer. For example, the poor education results in Peterborough have been a long-standing issue and are caused by a variety of other factors.
“It is important to remember that there are many reasons for the success or otherwise of our local services, and we must consider all of them.”
Peterborough City Council launched a campaign last year to receive ‘fairer funding’ from the Government based on “up-to-date and relevant information.”
Council leader Cllr John Holdich said: “Last year we launched our Stand Up For Peterborough campaign to raise awareness of our funding situation and to lobby government for fairer funding.
“So far we have met and explained the city’s unique situation with government experts, MPs and other key stakeholders and are taking part in a national project led by the Bureau of Investigative Journalists aimed at highlighting the funding differences between local authorities. We have also received many pledges of support from members of the public.”
The council leader added that the authority is a “forerunner of public sector reform” by sharing officers with Cambridgeshire County Council and setting up its own housing company.
Last week Julie Howell, coordinator of the Peterborough Green Party, joined her party’s MP Caroline Lucas in Westminster to deliver a letter to the Chancellor calling on him to give local councils such as Peterborough a cash injection.
More on Peterborough’s financial Raw Deal: