Alicia Kearns hosted the Adjournment debate in Parliament on rural funding and levelling up, to highlight the inequalities and challenges faced by rural communities across the UK.
The debate focussed on fair funding for rural communities, as well as the need to improve transport, health services and digital connectivity across areas such as Rutland and Melton.
During the debate, Alicia Kearns highlighted that it was completely unacceptable that people in Rutland are forced to pay the highest council tax rates in the UK, while Leicestershire remains the lowest-funded county council per head in England. She noted that without a fair funding settlement, rural authorities would struggle to deliver on the Government’s ambitious Levelling Up agenda.
The full debate is available to watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hft9M8Ro0ck
Responding to Alicia Kearns, Levelling Up Minister Neil O’Brien noted:
“We should start by recognising that many positive things are happening in Rutland, Melton and the parts of the Harborough district that my hon. Friend the Member for Rutland and Melton represents, and many of them are happening because of my hon. Friend. She has been a relentless champion for fairer funding for Rutland and Leicestershire.”
“Of course, her local authorities have also benefited from funding from the UK shared prosperity fund: Rutland, Melton and Leicestershire are receiving over £5 million of UK SPF funding, with Rutland getting over £1 million, Harborough over £2.1 million and Melton just shy of £1.2 million. On top of that, Leicestershire is receiving nearly £3 million in multiply funding.”