Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
Nottingham calls for inquiry into favourable southern funding
Councillor Graham Chapman has called for the Public Accounts Committee to investigate the government favouring wealthy southern councils with funding and leaving the ‘rest of the country with the scraps’.
Nottingham City Council’s deputy leader claims that £132 million of extra government funding for councils will be directed towards more affluent, Conservative-led councils in the south, leaving only £21 million to be shared out among the rest of the country.
Chapman highlights how wealthy Surrey County Council will receive the most for any council at £17 million, while the East Midlands will be allocated just £6 million and Nottingham receiving nothing. This is despite Nottingham City Council seeing cuts in government funding of £601 per household compared to just £57 per household in Surrey.
Chapman says: “This is an abuse of public money. The government is once again choosing to bail out councils in better-off areas of the south when poorer councils in areas with higher need in the North and Midlands are losing out. The skewed way in which this funding is being distributed is so unfair it’s simply indefensible. They must now be brought to account by the Public Accounts Committee to justify this latest scheme.
“It’s not just that the additional funding would merely be nice to have – it’s desperately needed when our main government grant is being cut from £127 million in 2013 to just £25 million next year. The councils benefiting from this new funding haven’t seen anything like these levels of cuts in their Government grants, and can raise significantly more in council tax, making these allocations utterly unjustifiable. Nottingham people and others across the North and Midlands are losing out on millions of pounds of extra funding which would help support the vital council services they rely on.”