Norfolk County Council concern over 'lost funds'

Norfolk County Council is losing out on millions of pounds due to unfair funding rules, its leader has claimed.

In 2005/2006 a fairer system for funding was worked out and Norfolk was set to receive a large increase.

But the government brought in new rules to redistribute some of the funds from the big gainers such as Norfolk to councils losing funding such as Surrey.

Norfolk county leader Derrick Murphy called for changes to the rules. The government said the grant will be fair.

Mr Murphy said the Conservative-run authority was due to lose about £21.6m.

'Damping of grant'

He said: "That's more than any other county is losing through this 'damping' of our grant entitlement.

"Since 2006/07 we have lost £118.8m that the government's own calculations say that Norfolk should receive to support services.

"This 'damping' of our grant was supposed to be a transitional arrangement to allow other authorities to adjust to the loss of national funding.

"I raised this issue with Eric Pickles [Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government] at the council leaders' meeting at 10 Downing Street and have followed this up with a letter asking him to review Norfolk's damping adjustments as a matter of urgency."

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: "The government has delivered a tough but fair settlement ensuring the most vulnerable communities were protected.

"The settlement is fair between different parts of the country - north and south, rural and urban, metropolitan and shire.

"In calculating the settlement ministers have ensured that formula grant funding per head is higher in those parts of the country with the highest level of need."

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