This evening Michael Tomlinson took part in an Adjournment Debate on the subject of a long-term economic plan for the South West. Dr. Liam Fox, MP for North Somerset, secured the debate and led the discussion amongst Conservative MPs in the South West.
He took the opportunity to raise the issue of fairer funding for Dorset and highlighted that funding issues in Dorset where multi-faceted.
Michael said: “In Dorset, the education funding formula must be fixed, but it’s not just education; it’s police forces and local authorities as well.”
In adding to Michael’s contribution, Liam Fox said: “I entirely agree with my hon. Friend, who makes the point very well. It applies to police authorities, education authorities, health authorities and local government. This is region has not spoken with a single voice sufficiently in recent times. Tonight we are seeing the beginning of that.”
In the debate the The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Marcus Jones MP replied: “Over the next few months, we will be working on the funding allocations for local government. No doubt, during that process, I will receive many representations from this part of the country if tonight is anything to go by. The Government have also provided additional funding this year for rural areas to take the sparsity issue into account.”
This morning Michael reacted to the Under-Secretary of State’s response by saying, “I’m grateful that the Government has provided additional funding for rural areas, but we still need to see progress on fairer funding for Dorset. After all, we continue to be consistently under funded from central government, year on year.”