Councillor calls Cameron ‘cynical’ as Redbridge misses out on new funding

Kam Rai

Kam Rai - Credit: Archant

A councillor has accused the government of being “cynical” with funding, after Redbridge received no money from a £300million pot.

David Cameron's home county of Oxfordshire received £9million of funding, while Redbridge received n

David Cameron's home county of Oxfordshire received £9million of funding, while Redbridge received nothing. Cllr Kam Rai has described the grants as "cynical". Photograph: Stegan Rousseau/PA - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Greg Clark, the communities and local government (DCLG) secretary, announced last week that the money would be distributed to help councils with cuts.

But cabinet member for finance and resources Cllr Kam Rai believes Redbridge should have benefited from the grant based on need.

He pointed to Labour research which showed 83 per cent of the transitional funds have gone to Conservative councils.

Affluent borough Richmond upon Thames received £2.9m, while Tory run neighbours Havering gained an extra £1.3m.

Cllr Paul Canal

Cllr Paul Canal - Credit: Archant

Cllr Rai told the Recorder: “The way the government chooses to distribute funding isn’t something that is scientific, it’s something that is decided.

“We have got local elections outside of London coming up. It’s a bit obvious, Tory councils have generally been the ones to benefit.”

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Surrey Council was the biggest winner receiving £24m, as Mr Clark increased the rural services delivery grant.

Cllr Rai continued: “If you look at it on a need basis, a lot of Labour councils would get the funding, but then they are run by Labour administrations.

“You would think the government would look at it on needs.”

Cllr Rai pointed out the prime minister’s home council Oxfordshire received £9m of funding, after their council leader wrote to him complaining about the cuts.

He said: “For me and for most people it is completely cynical, that is what it looks like.”

Tory leader Cllr Paul Canal agreed the borough’s funding formula needs to change, but accused Labour of “political sniping as opposed to constructive discussion”.

He said: “Redbridge is an outer London borough, but parts of Ilford South are as deprived as Newham, yet we get less money.

“I welcome extra grants, but I would like the DCLG to look at Redbridge’s funding formula.”

A government spokesman said: “The transitional funding has gone to those councils facing the biggest fall in central government grant.”