Shropshire settlement still on the table
A more "subtle approach" is needed to get a better funding settlement from the government, the leader of Shropshire Council has said.
Council leader Peter Nutting revealed that the authority is still pushing for a better funding settlement from central government by working with the region's MPs, in a response to a question about his views on the government's Northern Ireland settlement wit the DUP.
At a full meeting of Shropshire Council at Shirehall yesterday, member of the public Wynn Davis put the question Councillor Nutting: "In the light of the government's agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party to provide extra funding to Northern Ireland, what representations has the leader of the council, or any of his cabinet colleagues, made to the government, either directly or via the local MPs, for extra funds to be provided for Shropshire?"
He said if the equivalent of the Northern Ireland settlement had been given to Shropshire, scaled for population, the county would have got £169 million in extra funding. He added that it showed austerity was a matter of choice rather than necessity and that Shropshire also needed money for essential services threatened with ever more cuts.
"Does the leader think it's fair that only one part of the country is getting this?" he said.
Councillor Nutting said cabinet and the county's MPs had met as recently as July 14 on the matter and Shropshire Council would be supporting campaigns by the County Council Network and the Rural Services Network to get a fair financial settlement for rural county communities.
He said: "Shropshire clearly suffers in the way government attributes money and we are making representations." However he stressed the new administration felt a "more subtle approach" was called for than "shouting through the press" as Shropshire Council had tended to do previously.
"We are working quietly, behind the scenes, through our local MPs, to get a better deal for the future and we will continue to do so," he said.
He said he took Mr Davies' point that a Northern Ireland-style settlement would solve a lot of problems in "one swoop".