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WESTMINSTER WATCH - DEPRIVED PROMISED FUNDS

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Councils disadvantaged by funding changes based on a new government measure of deprivation will be supported by tra...
Councils disadvantaged by funding changes based on a new government measure of deprivation will be supported by transitional arrangements, ministers have promised.

Local government minister Hilary Armstrong told MPs that if ministers press ahead with the changes councils losing out will be protected from big one-off cuts in funding.

She was responding to concerns from Karen Buck, former Westminster City Council member and Labour MP for Regent's Park and Kensington North. Ms Buck said wards falling outside the new index of local deprivation priority should be able to access government funds targeted at deprived areas.

London mayor Ken Livingstone and senior Greater London Assembly members have voiced disquiet over the fact many London boroughs will be hit by the changes.

Ms Armstrong acknowledged the concerns: 'This is a very difficult issue. No statistics tell the whole story. None of us trusts statistics wholly.'
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