Council is set to ask for post-Brexit funding guarantees

The leader of Northumberland County Council is set to ask the Government to provide guarantees for millions of pounds of funding for people across the county.

A motion which went to full council on Wednesday (November 1), asked the council to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and other cabinet members to try to secure answers on how European Union funding for Northumberland will be replaced by the Government post-Brexit.

The motion, which was supported by councillors from all parties on the Conservative-led authority, backs the Government’s commitment to a UK Shared Prosperity Fund for money to be distributed across the country when European funding comes to an end.

It asks for local authorities to have a ‘strong hand in the management’ of the fund and for the fund to focus on ‘narrowing local and regional differences in economic well-being’.

Council leader Peter Jackson said he will happily write to senior members of the Government on behalf of the council, following the passage of the motiion.

“European funding has been vital to the people of Northumberland for many years and I am delighted the Government has committed to creating the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to step in when we leave the European Union,” he said.

“Of course, it is paramount we get the best deal possible for our county and it is key we try to get some idea now of how the new fund will be set up and monies administered.

“Talking about the UK Shared Prosperity Fund earlier this month, business minister Margot James told a newspaper the Government is committed to devolved decision making and will look to accountable local authorities for guidance on what is needed.

“I hope this is the case as people in Northumberland know what is best for Northumberland, and if I write to the Government I will be making the point and searching for some assurances.”