LETTER OF THE WEEK: Government needs to sort out county’s funding crisis

Money GV NNL-170712-121029001
Money GV NNL-170712-121029001

The Northants Police and Crime Commissioner has recently said in your newspaper that in comparison to other police constabularies of a similar size, the police grant that we get here in Northamptonshire from Whitehall works out at considerably less per head of the population than any of our contemporaries.

The disparity between what we receive here in Northamptonshire compared to the rest of the country doesn’t just stop at the budget for policing.

The county council has also recently said that if we were to receive the same amount in Government grants as East Sussex County Council; where the population is considerably smaller than ours, they would have an additional £115m to spend on our public services.

This is nothing short of positive discrimination.

All seven of Northamptonshire’s Tory MPs are elected to serve their constituents, but all are so preoccupied with Brexit, that nothing else seems to matter to them.

If, or more likely, when there is another general election, the electorate should remind them that they were not elected to promote their own individual political agendas, by electing other candidates that will work to look after the interests of all those in Northamptonshire.

All that has been suggested so far to help the county council out of it’s considerable financial problems is a proposal to scrap all seven of the county’s borough councils and merge them into one unitary authority. I have said it before, we also don’t need seven MPs.

Meanwhile, there are rumours that the police stipend in next year’s council tax is set to increase to off set the cut in funding from Whitehall.

There will also be another increase in the surcharge for the funding of social care for the elderly.

Taking the total increase in council tax for 2018/19 to somewhere in the region of six per cent, twice that of inflation. This comes on top of insurance premiums increasing by almost five times the rate inflation, electricity by four times, while at the same time wages stagnate.

It is high time that the Government put their hands into their pockets to solve our public spending crisis.

Ivan Humphrey