Figures suggest Blackpool could be among hardest hit by government funding review

A reallocation of how councils receive government funding could see Blackpool lose out to the tune of £6.3m, new analysis shows.

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 9:47 am
Updated Thursday, 30th January 2020, 9:48 am
Town hall finances could be hit

The research, which was commissioned by the Local Government Association, shows the resort to be among the worst affected with an overall loss of more than 12 per cent.

The Fair Funding Review will affect how funding is allocated and redistributed between local authorities from 2020 onwards.

It is expected to use three main ‘cost drivers’: population, deprivation and sparsity, together with additional cost drivers related to specific local authority services.

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It has been claimed the funding changes could affect deprived areas most, many of which have newly elected Conservative MPs.

Labour's Gordon Marsden, who lost his seat at the General Election, warned Blackpool could face a fresh wave of council cuts.

He said: "Blackpool as a small unitary authority, with all the problems of a seaside town, needs money restoring, not taken away.

"Boris Johnson has talked about levelling up resources between the south and north but this is going to make it worse.

"These are alarming figures that ought to prompt a rethink from the government."

But Blackpool South Conservative MP Scott Benton described the figures as "speculative guess work."

He said: "They are not based on official Government figures and are merely one group’s guess of what could happen in the future.

"The prediction focuses on one small part of the overall funding package for local councils.

"The Government is committed to investing in Blackpool.

"Our local schools have just been awarded a multi-million pound increase in funding – one of the largest funding increases in the country - and only days ago, our local police force received a 7.5 per cent increase in funding too."

An LGA spokesperson said: “This analysis does not represent LGA policy, an LGA policy proposal or an LGA preference.

"It is an attempt to provide some information to councils that might help gauge the likely impact of the fair funding review on the relative distribution of adult social care funding.”

Blackpool Council has seen spending cut by a total of £142m since 2011.