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Peter Luff has joined other MPs to send a clear message to the Government that underfunding for rural areas must be addressed, presenting a petition to the Commons signed by nearly 600 Mid Worcestershire residents.

Peter explained,

“Rural areas suffer underfunding for basic services. There is an ongoing fight to close the gap between the funding given to rural and urban communities. At the moment councils in rural areas are allocated less money to pay for the costs of services, although often they are more expensive.

“I and other MPs that represent rural constituencies want to see this unfairness addressed. So, the Rural Fair Share Campaign group started a petition to show the Government how important people this issue is to rural communities.”

The petition read,

“That the petitioners believe that the Local Government Finance Settlement is unfair to rural communities; notes that the Rural Penalty sees urban areas receive 50% more support per head than rural areas despite higher costs in rural service delivery; and opposes the planned freezing of this inequality in the 2013/14 settlement for six years until 2020.

“The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to reduce the Rural Penalty in staged steps by at least 10% by 2020.”

Over 17, 000 signatures were collected nationwide, with nearly 600 signatures from residents in Mid Worcestershire.

MPs presented the signatures they collected in their constituencies in the House of Commons yesterday (Monday) to bring this issue to the forefront of the Government’s mind.

Peter said,

“It is great that there were so many signatures from Worcestershire people and I am very grateful to the local councillors who went out and collected these.

“I hope this petition will show the Government that rural people believe something must be done to address the gap.”


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