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SHIRES PROTEST AT SKEWED REVIEW

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Shire councils have criticised the government's review of the distribution formula used for local government fundin...
Shire councils have criticised the government's review of the distribution formula used for local government funding.

The Rural Services Partnership, a special interest group covering 60 shire councils, has warned that the review 'poses a major threat to fragile rural communities'.

Local authority finance consultant Rita Hale said several of the options under consideration by ministers in a review expected to last three years would skew the balance in favour of urban areas. They would also set rural areas against each other.

Urban areas would have the edge in securing additional specific grants and in bidding for grants to cover basic services, partly as they have more resources 'to put together glossy bids'. Such a system would also be 'a recipe for cronyism and a charter for lobbyists as the allocation will be entirely at ministerial discretion'.
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