Stop ‘moaning’ about cuts leader is urged

Coun Simon Blackburn
Coun Simon Blackburn
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A leading Tory has hit back at claims Blackpool has lost out on government funding paid out to councils in the south.

Coun Tony Williams, leader of the Conservatives on Blackpool Council, said it was time town hall chiefs stopped complaining and looked at their own financial dealings instead.

You would think Blackpool was the only town or city in the UK not benefiting from additional funding

Coun Tony Williams

It emerged last week Blackpool had received nothing from a £300m transitional fund created to help councils cope with the phasing out of the government’s revenue support grant.

But £9m had been given to Oxfordshire, £18.7m to Hampshire, and £24.1m to Surrey. More than 80 per cent is going to Conservative authorities.

Council leader Simon Blackburn branded the situation ‘scandalous’.

But Coun Williams said: “Over the last few years Blackpool has received millions of pounds in support and grant funding from the Government for a whole raft of different projects. Coun Blackburn seems to have forgotten this as he continues to whinge and moan about the austerity cuts.

“Perhaps if the council had been more prudent with their own investments and borrowing they might have managed the savings more effectively.”

He added: “You would think Blackpool was the only town or city in the UK not benefiting from additional funding, which was primarily designated to help rural areas who have more complex issues with the first round of cuts.

“In truth more than 200 local councils have also not received part of this rural support fund.”

But Coun Blackburn said Conservative councils had only “just started having their funding cut in a meaningful way.”