Council to lose nearly £500 per person

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WIGAN Council will have lost £487 per person in Government funding by 2017 according to a new report.

Councils in the North West, including Wigan, will also be £182 per person worse off than local authorities in the South East amid claims of a North/South divide in funds from parliament according to the report by The Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities (SIGOMA)

Ministers say funding is “fair” and the report was a “crude lobbying exercise”.

In December, the government will tell councils in England how much money they will get next year.

SIGOMA, which has 45 members, represents many of the big urban councils in England, the vast majority Labour run.

A spokesman for Wigan Council said: “Wigan is one of the worst affected areas. You will already be aware of the impact in the borough, as a council employee and possibly a resident. We estimate that Wigan will have lost close on £100 million of the budget by 2015-16.

“This adds to the risk of regional communities being overwhelmed by cuts.”

The report looked at the potential impact on all councils and says new funding structures and the welfare reform changes mean areas with the “greatest need are facing the highest level of cuts” and are losing out on hundreds of pounds per resident.

According to the group, the “large disparity in funding is putting some councils at breaking point, and means that any economic recovery may bypass parts of the UK”.

Local government minister Brandon Lewis said council funding by central government did not favour any one area.

Ministers says changes in the way funding is calculated take into account how many older people live in a location, how rural it is, and social needs.