I have only just clocked this article from yesterday's Telegraph, which reports on further evidence that the Labour Government has unduly directed local government funding away from rural Conservative areas:
"Figures released in a written parliament answer by Barbara Follett,
the Communities and Local Government Minister, show that district and county
councils have experienced a 15 per cent and 37 per cent increase
respectively in their per capita grant allocation since 1997. In contrast, the amount given to unitary councils has gone up by 53 per cent,
metropolitan councils have had a 61 per cent increase, and the London
boroughs a rise of 41 per cent."
"The figures show that residents living in district councils have seen spending
on them rise from £85 in 1997 to £95 last year, while per capita funding on
people in county councils rose from £651 when Labour came to power to £889
in 2008/9. In contrast, those living in unitary authorities have had their funds
increased from £786 to £1,201, in metropolitan boroughs from £877 to £1,414,
and from £1,043 to £1,473 in the London boroughs."
“England’s shires and police forces have been forced to make the
highest council tax rises under Labour. Far from being the result of local spending decisions, it's the result of
Labour fiddling the complex system of local government grants for partisan
advantage. This deliberate sleight of hand undermines both local democracy and trust in
government. We need greater transparency on the way in which councils are funded, so the
public can make informed choices at the ballot box on whether their council
has delivered value for money."