Steve Double, Member of Parliament for St Austell and Newquay has been appointed chairman of the influential Rural Fair Share Campaign group.
The Rural Fair Share Campaign is a cross-party group of MPs, who support an impartial, objective, needs-based approach to funding local public services.
The campaign aims to reduce the rural penalty, which sees funding for public services in rural areas receive up to 40% less than in urban areas, whether this is for our schools, local government or Police.
Rural residents pay, on average, £82 more in council tax than their urban counterparts – despite receiving £116 less in funding from Central Government.
Overall, therefore, rural residents pay more in tax, receive fewer services and, on average, earn less than those in urban areas.
Commenting on his appointment, Steve said:
“I am delighted to have been appointed Chairman of the influential Rural Fair Share Campaign group.”
“I initially joined their campaign following my election in 2015 and am pleased since then to have worked closely with the group to push the Government to give rural areas like Cornwall a fair deal in funding, where we have historically missed out in areas including local government, education, policing and transport infrastructure.”
“I am pleased that the Government has now agreed to look at the funding formulas used again and conduct a review that I believe will show it is simply more expensive to deliver services in rural areas than urban areas. We have already made good progress in establishing the principle that there is an additional cost of providing services in more sparsely populated parts of the country. But we now need to see this turned into hard extra cash. I am under no doubt that this will be a big challenge in the current financial climate but I am up for the challenge.”
Steve has also been elected Chair of the Visitor Economy All Party Parliamentary Group
All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) are informal cross-party groups in Parliament where MPs of all political persuasions work together to tackle any number of issues.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Visitor Economy (APPG) aims to enhance the local economy by promoting measures and incentives, including a reduction of VAT on tourism, which would increase visitor numbers and investment in all parts of Britain and Northern Ireland.