Local Government Finance

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:27 pm on 22nd February 2017.

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Photo of Owen Paterson Owen Paterson Conservative, North Shropshire 3:27 pm, 22nd February 2017

I welcome many aspects of my right hon. Friend’s statement, but he is aware that rural authorities were unhappy at the end of the last Conservative Government. The Labour Government then brutally shifted considerable funds to the inner cities. There is now a massive discrepancy not just in council tax raised, but in money redistributed from the centre and, above all, services. I will vote with the Government tonight without any great enthusiasm for the settlement, but I would like an absolute guarantee that this review will go back to basics, looking at the needs and significant changes on the ground so that when we discuss this next year, we will have a completely different settlement that reverses the trend and brings wealth back, fairly, to rural areas.