Council leader calls for Government to play fair with Hartlepool over funding

Hartlepool Civic Centre
Hartlepool Civic Centre

Hartlepool Borough Council leader Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher has written to the Government calling for a fairer financial settlement for the town.

He says Government spending power cuts over the last five years have had a disproportionate impact on Hartlepool and other less affluent parts of the country.

Over this period, the council’s spending power has been cut by £313 per person – more than twice the national average of £131 – while in Windsor and Maidenhead the reduction has been just £14.

Coun Akers-Belcher is seeking a fairer deal ahead of the Government’s next Spending Review, due to be announced in November.

He has sent a letter to the Government supporting a proposal put forward by Birmingham City Council that would see local authorities share the burden of future funding cuts as a percentage of their overall net budgets.

If this approach had been adopted in 2015/16 every local authority would have seen a 6.7% reduction in Government funding, leaving Hartlepool £2.5 million better off.

He said: “We do feel very strongly that there should be a fairer distribution of the total level of Government support.

“This proposal would ensure that all councils play a part in helping to balance the public finances and end the current perverse situation where some of the poorest areas of the country are being hit hardest by funding cuts.”