South Yorkshire has just lost £50 million of EU funding.
Lib Dem Business Secretary, Vince Cable, announced he was cutting this funding in June 2013.
South Yorkshire councils have been fighting the decision ever since – and the Coalition have been fighting hard to defend it.
The Supreme court has not come down in the Coalition’s favour – or rather, it’s judged that what they want to do is not illegal.
The Court ruled that the Coalition’s cuts were ‘unfair’, one judge said they were ‘manifestly inappropriate – but they were not illegal.
So we lose the money.
Yorkshire Euro MP Linda McAvan and Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey have been campaigning alongside the local authorities.
“To hear that 3 out of the 7 Supreme Court Justices believed that South Yorkshire has lost out unfairly through a flawed allocation process, with one Justice describing the Government’s cuts to South Yorkshire as “manifestly inappropriate” is galling.”
The text published today suggests that one Lord changed his mind towards the end of the decision making process, demonstrating just how painfully close our local authorities came to overturning the Government.
John Healey MP said;
“Linda McAvan and I have led the campaign to protect South Yorkshire from these unfair and unjustifiable government cuts. We went to the European Commission in 2013 to make them aware of our concerns and have taken our case to government Ministers too.’
The Lib Dem/Tory Coalition will cut 61% of South Yorkshire’s funding – we’ll get €117 per person – while affluent Cheshire will be allocated €157 Euros per head. Yet another gross unfairness to add to the unequal Local Government cuts!
As if that weren’t bad enough, the Coalition has also sneaked through changes to how Yorkshire will be able to spend other EU money which should be coming our way.
It’s European Structural and Investment Funds – designed to stimulate growth.
‘The Local Government Association claims that while the Greater London Authority will have full control of the capital’s share of England’s £5.3bn European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), communities outside London will receive “little or no say” over the projects on which money is spent in their areas over the next seven years.’
This was money intended for investment in roads, broadband, university facilities and support for business.
Once again, one rule for London – another for us. They can make their own decisions about what’s best for London – and right too. We can’t.
The Tories and LibDems mouth promises about devolution – but we should judge them by their actions.
They are determined to keep real decision making at Westminster. And Yorkshire is low down their list of priorities.
As John Healey said about the cuts
‘In the last weeks of this Parliament, the government have got away with doing damage to our region that will be felt years from now. They may have won on a point of law, but the government’s decision to divert £50m of funding from our area to richer parts of the UK remains an outrage.”
Labour’s plans offer a real devolution of power to local level.
To ensure that comes about, Vote Labour on May 7.
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