Sir Jim Paice MP has passed a petition demanding fairer government funding for rural areas to Graham Stuart MP, Secretary of the Rural Fair Share Group.
The Rural Fair Share campaign’s petition totalled over 19,000 signatories from 119 constituencies.
It was signed by 35 of Sir Jim’s constituents and will form part of a wider campaign drawing attention to the disparity in rural funding.
The government’s funding formula for local authorities means rural councils currently receive around 50 per cent less money per person than urban councils.
The petition opposes the government’s planned freezing of this inequality for the next six years, and instead calls for the funding gap to be reduced in staged steps by at least ten per cent by 2020.
Due to the sparsely populated nature of rural areas, delivering public services tends to be more expensive than in cities.
This makes the inequality in public funding even more of a burden on rural communities. According to a report by the Rural Services Network, rural residents earn less, on average, than those in cities.
They also pay council tax which is about £100 higher per head.
Mr Stuart said: “The campaign will bring together Members of both Houses of Parliament, along with organisations, community groups, and individuals concerned about the welfare of our rural communities.
“It will also help Members of Parliament who represent the countryside to do a better job of making our case about the needs of rural areas”.
Mr Stuart will present the petition on the floor of the House on November 4 at around 10pm.
For all the latest news see Thursday’s (October 31) Echo.