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.
Former 'red wall' areas could miss out on council funding
New analysis has claimed that the possible reallocation of council funding could redirect hundreds of millions of pounds from so-called left-behind communities in the north of England to the leafy southern shires.
The analysis, commissioned by the Local Government Association, says that such a move would leave many newly Conservative voting ‘red wall’ areas facing fresh cuts to local services. Under a review of the local authority funding formula, £320 million a year could be shifted out of councils in England’s most deprived areas while Tory-controlled shire councils mainly in the south-east gain £300 million.
The claim opposes Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s numerous pledges to ‘level-up’ resources between the North and South, with the analysis suggesting that potential high-profile losers on funding shortcomings include many constituencies that elected new Conservative MPs in December, including Mark Jenkinson’s Workington constituency, which would suffer from Cumbria County Council’s £5 million loss, and Sedgefield, represented by Paul Howell, which would feel the impact of £10 million being taken out of Durham County Council.
Other notable losers include Stoke-on-Trent, Redcar, West Bromwich, Bishop Auckland, Grimsby and Leigh, with an estimated 37 of the 50 new Tory MPs representing areas that are set to lose millions a year.
In contrast, Hampshire County Council would be the biggest winner, gaining £35 million a year, followed by Surrey County Council, which is home to 11 Conservative MPs, and could gain £25 million. The Tory-run Northamptonshire County Council, which declared effective bankruptcy in 2018, is set to get a £7.5 million boost to its budget, despite ministers refusing a bail-out, as it could be seen to reward the authority’s financial mismanagement.
Andrew Gwynne, Shadow Communities Secretary, said: “In the new parliament, 37 Tory MPs represent communities at the sharp end of these cuts. They know these changes are wrong, so it’s time for them to decide: what comes first, their communities or their careers?”