Friday, September 6, 2013
Budleigh residents are being asked to sign a petition calling for more money for public services in rural areas.
The all-party Rural Services Network is trying to get a debate in parliament about the funding imbalance it says exists between urban and rural communities.
The campaign is being backed by Budleigh town and district councillor Tom Wright, who said: “At the moment, in rough terms, there is 50 per cent more money per head allocated to urban areas than rural areas, despite the fact that rural areas have higher costs.
“I think part of the problem is the last communities’ ministers, John Prescott and Eric Pickles, both come from highly urbanised areas, so when they come to the country they think we live in paradise, and don’t see the poverty behind the façade. Every service which is offered by local authorities in rural areas gets considerably less than urban authorities to deliver the same services, despite them probably costing more.
“The more people there are in an area, the bigger the council tax support to share the cost.”
The petition is available to sign at the Card Shop Too, upstairs in the Public Hall outside the town council offices, and at East Budleigh Community Shop, and runs until the end of September.