As reported in The Mirror and the Barnsley News and Sport on March 24th, Stephanie challenged Ministers over the distribution of National Lottery funding in the Commons today, revealing that the West Suffolk constituency of Tory Culture Secretary Matt Hancock had received over £22m compared to just £13m for Barnsley East.
The amount given to her South Yorkshire constituency is dwarfed by the £63.9m in grants handed out in Prime Minister Theresa May’s seat of Maidenhead, and is less than half the £27m given to Chancellor Philip Hammond’s wealthy Runnymede and Weybridge patch in Surrey.
Tory culture minister Michael Ellis responded by saying that over 70% of lottery funding goes outside London, though London had under 15% of the UK population at the last census, suggesting that it still receives a disproportionate amount.
Overall, the capital has received around £7.3bn in lottery funding since the programme began in 1995, while the South East received another £2.8bn, and the South of England overall has been allocated £12.4bn in grants.
This is compared to just £2.4bn given to Yorkshire across the same period.
Stephanie slammed the unequal distribution in lottery grants, demanding the Secretary of State explain the staggering difference in funding.
She said: “It’s just not good enough for Tory ministers to hide from this issue when they are overseeing a system that is clearly unfair to people in Barnsley.
“When the wealthy constituency of the Culture Secretary is getting almost double the amount that my own constituency has, it is a clear sign that something is deeply wrong.
“Our research starkly illustrates the problem. Yorkshire has received just £2.4bn, while London and the South have been handed £12.4bn – over five times as much.
“We need real change – it’s time that towns like Barnsley got our fair share.”