Tory urges fair deal for rural residents

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AN MP is calling for a “fairer” deal for rural communities after chairing a cross-party meeting on rural services.

Beverley and Holderness Tory MP Graham Stuart chaired the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Rural Services, which discussed disparities in social housing provision between urban and rural areas.

A recent report also found that rural councils receive, on average, 50 per cent less in Government grants per head of population than their urban counterparts – despite rural residents paying £100 more a year in council tax and receiving fewer public services.

Mr Stuart said: “I think it is extremely disappointing to see such discrimination against those who choose to live in a rural area. Rural communities are at the losing end of an inequitable system and I am determined to fight the rural cause until the Government stops and listens.”

He added: “I have a meeting with Minister Richard Benyon MP to discuss rural policy in light of the impending Local Government Resource Review.

“I hope the Government reconsiders how it distributes financial resources to local authorities by reforming what can only be described as an unbalanced funding formula.”

The review, launched in March, aims to give councils more autonomy.