Jon Cruddas today welcomed the announcement of the local government funding settlement for 2010/11 for Barking and Dagenham Council. Thanks to lobbying from Jon and the Labour Council, the borough will receive a 3.6% increase in funding while the average for Outer London boroughs will be 2.1%. This is the biggest increase of any London Borough and will help ensure local services are protected.
Since 1997, the government's local authority grant has increased above inflation each year delivering a real terms increase overall. Thanks to this generous settlement the Labour Council have pledged to freeze Council Tax again next year. Labour's commitment to Local Government funding and front line services is in stark contrast to the Tories who have promised they would be "unashamedly top down" in dictating cuts to local services. Jon said "I'm delighted that Barking and Dagenham Council will be able to keep funding front line services next year. This is a great example of the value of having a Labour Council and Member of Parliament working together to get the best deal from the Government. All of that is at risk if the Conservatives get in and slash spending for local government."
The top settlement for Barking and Dagenham contrasts with an increase of only 1.5% for Havering. Jon explained that "The people of Havering are getting a raw deal from their Council. Not only did they lose millions in bad investments but they have failed to secure a good deal for local taxpayers. I pledge to fight hard for a better deal for Havering if I become the Member of Parliament for the new Dagenham & Rainham constituency." After the next election Jon hopes to be the MP for South Hornchurch, Rainham & Wennington and Elm Park. "These communities already get a bad deal compared to Romford, with a tighter funding settlement its only going to get worse. I will stand up for Rainham and fight for a better deal."