There have been two very good news stories locally in the past week.
Firstly, on 1st February the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid MP – following a very strong bid by Rushmoor borough council which I supported in parliament – announced a central government grant of £8.4m for the regeneration of Aldershot town centre.
I am confident this grant will boost the Borough Council’s impressive plans for the regeneration of Aldershot town centre and the local area, particularly the Union Street East Project which plans to bring over one hundred new homes into the town centre and regenerate formerly empty buildings in Union Street and the High Street.
This is an important step in ensuring that our town centres in Rushmoor are places of prosperity and community of which we can all be proud.
Secondly, I was pleased to vote last night to increase funding for English local authorities over the next two years, in a new Local Government Finance Settlement. Local councils across England will now have access to over £200 billion from 2015 to 2020 to deliver the high-quality services our local communities need.
I am particularly encouraged that for the coming financial year Hampshire will have a 2.1% (£16 million) increase in funding to £778.3 million.
I am also pleased that the Government has introduced a £150 million national ‘Adult Social Care Support Grant’ as a part of this settlement. This, along with the announcement of an extra £2 billion for social care in last year’s Spring Budget, increases the total planned spending by the Government on adult social care to £9.4 billion from 2017 to 2020 and will be vital in ensuring the most vulnerable in society receive the care they require.
Commenting on this news, Sajid Javid MP said:
“Parliament has today approved a settlement that strikes a balance between relieving growing pressure on local government whilst ensuring that hard-pressed taxpayers do not face excessive bills. We have listened to representations made and delivered on these requests: two years of real terms increases in resources, more freedom and fairness, and greater certainty to plan and secure value for money.”