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Labour leaders urge extra funding after Census reveals population increases

PUBLISHED: 09:54 24 July 2012

A group of Labour council leaders and Mayors have written to the government urging it to act on the funding shortages they say were revealed by the Census data.

In the letter, which was signed by leader of Tower Hamlets Labour Group Joshua Peck, the signatories claim that the cumulative populations of their boroughs have been underestimated by 300,000.

As a result of this, they claim that there is a £300m funding shortfall across their boroughs from central government grants, which are calculated using population projections, which have proven inaccurate.

They say: “The Councils we represent have seen above average increases in our population and as a result all have significantly higher populations than was previously projected and funded for.

“Between us, we face a funding shortfall of almost £300 million each year as a result of these inadequate population estimates.”

The Census figures, published last week, revealed that the population grew at a higher rate in Tower Hamlets than in any other local authority in England and Wales, with a 26 per cent increase, from 201,100 in 2001 to 254,100 in 2011.

The letter continues: “Between us we are missing funding for over 300,000 residents – the equivalent of a large London Borough.

“As Council Leaders, elected Mayors and Group Leaders we call on the Government to ensure that we receive the funding that we are entitled to. Local Government funding must be based on reality, not fantasy.”

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