Leader’s response to the Government's spring budget announcement

Responding to the Government's budget announcement, the Leader of Barnsley Council, Cllr Sir Steve Houghton CBE, said: "The Government announced their spring budget yesterday (15 March), setting out plans to halve inflation, grow the economy and get debt falling.

“The budget announced 16 ‘bonus’ investments from the Levelling Up Fund and investment partnerships worth £400m for 20 councils across England. Despite the evident need in Barnsley, our close work with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and proposing high-quality projects for Government investment, we have been overlooked.

“It’s a big blow for Barnsley, especially considering the emphasis on the budget supposing to spread the benefits of economic growth everywhere.

“It’s not clear now how places like Barnsley can benefit from further capital funding under this Government. We know that they’re aware of our ambitions for an inclusive economy and opportunities to capitalise on the potential growth that Barnsley presents, so it’s doubly disappointing to not be involved in any pilot activity.

“As we have seen before, the retention of business rates models will mean that prosperous areas will have more money for vital public services. Areas like our borough will see their services reduced and the gap between rich and poor will become even wider.

“If the Government were serious about addressing inequalities, this budget would be focused on providing equal access and resource of public services to our residents. Instead, it will widen the gap even further.

"The Government might not prioritise supporting the people of Barnsley, but the council most definitely does. We remain driven to address gaps in quality of life, prosperity and well-being for our residents, communities, and businesses.”

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