Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting CHNEWS to 80360, or email
Craven District Council leader accuses Government of ‘dishonesty’ over funding
10:00am Thursday 26th September 2013 in News
The removal of a large chunk of money given to local authorities has been heavily criticised by Craven councillors.
Under plans by the Coalition Government, up to 35 per cent of the New Homes Bonus, paid to Craven District Council for the number of new homes built in the district, will be handed over to Local Enterprise Partnership Areas (LEPs) from 2015.
The money will be pooled along with other contributions from other local authorities in the LEP to support “strategic, locally-led economic growth priorities”.
Unlike other authorities, Craven, which this year received £588,000 in NHB and in 2015/16 is predicted to receive £980,000, had chosen to spend its allocation on additional projects and not put it into its general fund.
It has supported several community and sporting organisation bodies and has allocated £87,000 towards the cost of next year’s Yorkshire leg of the Tour de France, which will pass through Craven on two days in early July.
Council leader Chris Knowles-Fitton (Cons, Barden Fell) told the policy committee that the council had been “shafted” by central Government.
“A lot of authorities that had planned to use the NHB in their revenue account will find it pretty damaging and they will suffer badly as a result,” he said.
“I don’t think there is anything we can do about it, it is something we will have to live with, but quite frankly, the Government has shafted us.”
Coun Robert Heseltine (Ind, Skipton South) accused the Government of acting dishonestly and urged the council leader to write a strong letter to Skipton MP Julian Smith.
“Rather than do nothing about it, our local MP can put the pressure on the Government,” he said.
Coun Knowles-Fitton agreed that the Government had been dishonest. “I am more than happy to contact Julian Smith and express our dissatisfaction,” he said.
He added that LEPs were well aware that local authorities would suffer and would aim to make sure the pooled money was balanced out.
Comments are closed on this article.