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BIG CITIES TO LOBBY CURRY FOR HIGHER SSAs

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England's six major provincial cities are meeting with local government minister David Curry tomorrow to ask for a ...
England's six major provincial cities are meeting with local government minister David Curry tomorrow to ask for a 'better deal' in next year's financial settlement.

The six cities - Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle Upon Tyne and Sheffield - believe that social and economic deprivation in their areas is at least as great as that in inner London.

For instance, they have 58% more school-age children and 71% more pensioners, but their standard spending assessment is £346 per head lower than for inner London councils.

The SSAs of the six have increased by 25% since 1990/91, compared with an increase of 30% across England and 34% for inner London. The relative reduction works out at a total loss of £300m for the six cities.

Sheffield City Council leader Mike Bower said:

'Given the high levels of illness, low incomes, low educational participation and less well-qualified population of our cities, this cannot be justified, and we will be suggesting to the minister a series of simple and practical changes to put this right.'

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