In recent months I have had a series of meetings with local government ministers and continually pressed them for additional funding for our area.
Today Parliament approved the funding settlement for English local authorities that will see a real terms increase in available resources over the next two years and give them access to over £200 billion from 2015 to 2020 to deliver the high-quality services their local communities need.
I welcome the £1.9 million increase in spending power for North East Lincolnshire Council and the £2.6 million increase in spending power for North Lincolnshire Council. The settlement gives councils additional financial freedoms to deliver services for their most vulnerable residents while protecting council tax payers from excessive increases in their bills.
In addition, £16 million will be made available to councils providing services in rural areas, taking the total Rural Services Grant to £81 million - the highest it has ever been and a recognition of the cost of providing local services in sparsely populated areas. For North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire, this additional funding amounts to £0.5 million.
North Lincolnshire will also benefit from being confirmed as part of one of 10 new business rates retention pilot areas. These areas will keep 100% of growth in business rates, which will stay in communities and be spent on local priorities. This is estimated to generate an additional £14 million in funding across the pilot area. I welcome the fact that the Council have taken part in the Government scheme which allows local councils to retain more of their business rates, giving more discretion to the Council to take spending decisions locally.