For more information about the Forum Campaign see the 2016 August/September Newsletter
21 July 2016
There has never been a better moment for Enfield people to make their voices heard. We now have a new government, a new Prime Minister, new Chancellor of the Exchequer and a new Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. So this is the most opportune time to seek your support for the enclosed Fairer Funding for Enfield petition - to end once and for all the many, many years of under-funding which Enfield has suffered.
The petition has cross political party support and we aim to present it with a deputation to the new Ministers to emphasise the justice of our case. Although we live in a borough listed as the 12th most deprived in London - we have the highest percentage in London of children living in poverty – 32.8% - the Government still cuts its much reduced grant to us - £11.6 million alone in 2013/14 under its outdated “floor damping” scheme which it passes to other councils when our needs are greater than ever.
Since 2003/04 it is estimated that Enfield has lost some £100 million in “floor damping” given to other councils. Yet we get far less cash per head than many wealthier boroughs and this means our council’s help to community organisations and services is being cut even further.
Enfield receives government funding of £496.10 per head of population while Westminster gets £917.59 per person, Hammersmith and Fulham receives £900 and Kensington and Chelsea £815 – when all the boroughs carry out the same tasks.
Council leader Doug Taylor says we get less funding than we should because the government uses old population data. Funding to support councils in tackling the serious issue of homelessness is 15 years old. We have the fifth worst homelessness problem in the country, yet we only received £555,000 while other boroughs received up to £8million a year.
The same under-funding is everywhere to be seen in Enfield. Th NHS grant is £362 million for a population of 320,000. Camden gets £372 million with a population of 260,000 and Islington with an even smaller population of 233,000 gets £339 million. Public Health is £2.2 million under-funded.
Councillor Terry Neville, leader of the Conservative Group of Enfield councillors, says: "I am more than happy to support the petition organised by the Over 50s Forum as it expresses what the Conservatives both in administration and in opposition have been seeking to achieve for years. The present formulae for assessing government funding for London boroughs is hopelessly wrong.”
This petition is seeking to restore some justice in the way our borough is treated by Whitehall. By supporting it you will not just be helping Enfield residents today, but future generations of Enfield citizens who want to live and work in a clean and thriving borough.
Monty Meth MBE
President, Enfield Over 50s Forum