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Wednesday, March 29, 2023
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Government Minister challenged over ‘sticking plaster’ funding for Shropshire

MP Helen Morgan challenged the Government over the lack of cash it is providing Shropshire at a meeting with the Local Government Minister.

MP Helen Morgan
MP Helen Morgan

The Liberal Democrat MP for North Shropshire highlighted the huge cost of providing social care in Shropshire and the impact that is having on services across the county, as well as on the wider health system.

It comes as budget pressures mean Shropshire Council is looking to make savings of more than £50 million over the next financial year, which is the equivalent of around 10% of all council spending.

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Shropshire Council currently spends around 75% of its budget on social care, with the county’s comparatively older population meaning the authority has to spend far more money on care than councils in urban areas.

Helen, the Lib Dem spokesperson for Levelling Up, met Lee Rowley (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Local Government) to discuss the Local Government Funding Settlement on Wednesday.

Helen highlighted the funding challenges facing rural councils with older populations and noted the impact that social care challenges are having on the wider health crisis. She also called for a longer-term funding settlement so that authorities are able to plan their funding in the medium term rather than having to dramatically alter budgets each year.

Helen Morgan, Liberal Democrat MP for North Shropshire, said:

“I’m grateful to the Minister for meeting me to discuss local government funding but I remain extremely concerned about the challenges facing rural councils like Shropshire.

“The NHS is in a dire situation and a key factor is the linked crisis in social care. But the Government’s meagre funding settlement means many councils can only afford to stop the situation from getting worse instead of actually improving things.

“Places like Shropshire will continue to suffer until a fair funding review is put in place. The current cash only gives councils enough to put sticking plasters on their problems when what they need is major surgery.

“I’ll keep shouting up for Shropshire in Parliament because it’s clear the Conservatives intend to continue ignoring the needs of rural Britain.”

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