Government £281m cash boost for North West given cool reception

Chorley’s MP says that a £281m boost from the Goverment for the North West is a “drop in the ocean”.

Monday, 4th March 2019, 3:07 pm
Updated Monday, 4th March 2019, 4:12 pm
Chorley MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle

The cash is part of the £1.6bn Stronger Towns Fund announced yesterday and will see more than half of the money going to the north of England.

It was launched to boost less well-off towns in England after Brexit with £1bn of the pot being divided in England using needs-based formula, and £600m that communities can

bid for.

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Chorley MP Sir Lindsay Hoyle said: “I welcome any investment in that will benefit the people of the North West and of course in Chorley but the figures released today are a drop in the ocean compared to the massive cuts we have seen to local government and services.

“By 2020, local authorities will have faced a reduction to core funding from the Government of nearly £16 billion since 2010.

“That means that councils will have lost 60 pence out of every £1 the Government had provided to spend on local services.

“Next year, 168 councils will receive no more core central government funding at all.

“So if this is the government trying to seek to gain favour in the North in light of Brexit then I don’t think it will work.”

Announcing the Stronger Towns Fund, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Communities across the country voted for Brexit as an expression of their desire to see change – that must be a change for the better, with more opportunity and greater control.”

Communities secretary James Brokenshire said: “This major new fund builds on more than £9 billion in City and Growth Deals we have delivered since 2010 to help hard working people reach their full potential and to build an economy that works for everyone.”