A cross-party group of MPs has warned social mobility in England’s counties is being held back by an ‘outdated’ and ‘inequitable’ method of funding councils. A report by the County All-Party-Parliamentary Group (APPG) and County Councils Network (CCN) blames the current way of Whitehall funds local authorities and growing financial strain on their budgets as helping to embed a cycle of low social mobility. It claims eight of the 10 least socially mobile areas in England are county areas, and are overwhelmingly majority of those are rural and coastal. The report says the perception of counties as affluent areas has masked deep-seated socio-economic challenges and deprivation in shire counties, while the additional costs of delivering rural services are also not fully recognised in the way funding is allocated to councils. For example, it claims that councils in London receive £482 per head, whilst metropolitan boroughs and cities receive £351 per … (To read the full article, subscribe below)

Jamie Hailstone

Senior reporter – NewStart