Lib Dem councillors call on MPs to vote against government settlement

12 Jan 2024
Weston-super-Mare Town Hall

North Somerset Council is calling on its two local MPs to vote against the government next month when Parliament is expected to finalise the local government finance settlement for the year ahead.

The council has written to both John Penrose, MP for Weston-super-Mare and Sir Liam Fox, MP for North Somerset, asking them to discuss with Ministers the consequences the proposed settlement will have on the communities living in the area, in the hope that the government will rethink their proposals.

This follows a letter written by the Leader of North Somerset Council to the Secretary of State, Michael Gove, last month which set out the impact the finance settlement will have in North Somerset and made requests to ensure fairer funding for local government.

Cllr Mike Bell (Lib Dem), Leader of the Council, said: "We are doing all we can to shine a spotlight on the precarious financial situation that we, and councils across the country, are in. Costs are rising, especially in children's social care, and we cannot continue to keep pace with demand.

"Our council receives approximately £37 million a year less in government grant than the average English council. Due to our low levels of council tax, our ability to generate additional income through local funding is also much more limited than it is for other councils.

"If action is not taken by government, then our services will suffer, it is as simple as that. I hope that the Secretary of State will respond positively to the reasonable requests we have made and that our own MPs will support us and our communities in securing a fairer deal for North Somerset. If change is not forthcoming, then I would ask our MPs to vote against the settlement as it lets down our area."

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