LETTER: EU funding should go to rural districts

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I’m a businessman in North Nottinghamshire, who is strongly against devolution involving the D2N2 team and who strongly opposes the suggestion that the East Midlands chamber represents our views.

In the few conferences that I have been to, the audience were asked to raise their hands in support of devolution and in the Nottingham meeting I went to, only three hands went up in support, out of about 70 people. I have been told that the same reaction was received at a Leicester meeting.

Businesses in North Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire generally feel that we have not only been excluded from EU funding, with 80% going to the cities but also we have not been properly consulted on devolution and would not wish those powers to go to the county councils but rather to the districts.

This practice of city biased spending is creating a huge misbalance in the local economy and I strongly object to any more power being given to these organisations that have done nothing to help the coalfields or rural districts and have shown no interest in doing so.

If they tell you that lots was spent under EMDA, I suggest that and audit should be done to show where it all went, as the quality of life for most people up here has not improved.

If devolution is to occur, we would want it to be at district level, to ensure that our rates go directly into our services and not those of the cities, which are unitary authorities.

Historically the city of Nottingham and the county council (with a brief break) have been misused by Labour politicians to shore up their power and vote in the East Midlands, as opposed to being about improving the economy or ensuring that the broader districts are able to keep up with the cities. Giving more power to these councils will, in my opinion, cause a greater imbalance of deprivation and leave the outlying districts even more in the cold than they are now.

At the last Powerhouse meeting I went to, the leader of the county council had the arrogance to suggest that EMDA should be brought back as he was head at EMDA. Considering the misspends by that organisation, it is horrific to consider that the next policy maker and service provider could be the head of the previous organisation that was removed by this Government because of its poor management and misspending of Millions of Euros in our region.

Charles Cannon

Green Ambassador Mansfield

BA Hons Countryside Planning