Challenging the Government on funding for towns

The Government acknowledged what we’ve all been telling them for the best part of a decade: their cuts have had devastating consequences in towns like Barnsley.

In an attempt to make amends, the Prime Minister has offered towns struggling under this Tory Government funding worth £1bn over the next seven years, with £600m more available through bids.

That may sound large, but just £197m has been allocated to Yorkshire and the Humber.

And to put Theresa May’s offer in greater perspective, £7.3bn has been cut from council budgets by the Tories since 2010.

Across Yorkshire and the Humber, £932m has been cut.

In Barnsley alone, £145m – not much less than the Prime Minister’s offers for the entire region over the next seven years.

Any money given to address the effects of this Government’s austerity policies is welcome, but this derisory offer will do little to reverse the damage caused by Tory cuts over the last 9 years.

Nor will it buy the Prime Minister the political support she needs to prop up her Government – people in Barnsley aren’t so easily fooled.

I challenged the Government on this in Parliament - you can watch my comments here.