Berkshire

Wokingham councillor says grant cuts would be 'ludicrous'

The leader of a Berkshire borough council has said the suggestion that it gets double the funding it actually needs from government is "ludicrous".

The chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Labour MP Margaret Hodge, made the comments about Wokingham Council.

But David Lee, leader of the Conservative-led authority, said it was already the lowest funded council.

"There was no way we could stand with our grant cut in half," he added.

'Budget cuts'

Ministers are reviewing the grants, with a new system for councils designed to give them more financial autonomy.

The MPs said the current system was complex and often resulted in public bodies getting the wrong amount of money.

"It is essential that this money is distributed fairly, consistently and transparently - but we found that this is not always the case," Lady Hodge said.

"It cannot be right that at a time of budget cuts that this results in Wokingham Council receiving double the funding it actually needs while many other local authorities, such as Dorset County Council, get much less than they require."

But Mr Lee said: "At the moment we get £125 per resident.

"We were being compared to Dorset and they receive £160 per resident but they are a county council and they don't provide a lot of the services that we provide.

"We're getting even less than Dorset but yet they feel they are not getting as much as they require."

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