MP and Council want a Fair Share for Rural Areas

The Island’s MP, Andrew Turner and leading Island Councillors are supporting a national campaign to redistribute funding from urban to rural areas.

Andrew Turner

This in from Andrew Turner‘s office, in their own words. Ed

The Rural Fair Share campaign aims to encourage the Government to address the disparity in funding between rural and urban areas.

According to research by the Rural Services Network, an organisation set up to safeguard and improve services in English rural communities, the average rural resident earns less than a city dweller and pays £100 more council tax because the cost of delivering services is higher. Yet urban areas currently receive 50% higher government grant per head than rural ones. The Rural Fair Share campaign supports impartial, objective and needs based government policy to ensure fairness to all.

Mr Turner, who is a Parliamentary Patron of the Rural Fair Share Group, is supporting a national petition which will be presented in the House of Commons in October saying;

“As usual I will have a stand at the Garlic Festival next weekend (17th & 18th August) and I will be giving people the opportunity to sign the petition asking for fairer funding for rural areas like the Isle of Wight. It is totally unfair that more funding per head goes to cities than the countryside, so I am working with like-minded MPs of all parties who also represent rural constituencies to try to get the balance redressed.”

Leader of the Isle of Wight Council, Cllr. Ian Stephens also endorsed the campaign:

“The Council is pleased to be working with our MP on this important campaign – we know it is significantly more expensive to deliver services in sparsely populated countryside areas. Although there is some limited recognition for this in the grant that comes from the Government it is inexplicable that cities still receive so much more funding per head than places like the Island. We will be working with the other parties on the Council to support this petition and the campaign over the summer.”

Speaking for the Conservative Group of Councillors, Chris Whitehouse (Newport West) said:

“This issue clearly crosses any political divide and is something that we can all support enthusiastically. This is an opportunity for the Isle of Wight to play its part in a national campaign; a positive outcome would benefit all of us. Even a relatively small redistribution of Government grant would be enormously helpful to the Island so I hope as many people as possible will sign the petition.”

Due to Parliamentary rules the petition must be signed on paper, not on-line. The petition can be downloaded and printed from Andrew Turner’s website at and must be returned to him by 30th September to ensure that it can be handed in with other petitions from across the country.

Image: © IslandMP

Wednesday, 14th August, 2013 11:16am



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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  1. But the second home owners get the best of both worlds, and that includes Turner doesn’t it?

  2. steephilljack

    14.Aug.2013 5:06pm

    Good to see the MP and County Council working together again. It shows just what a blockage to good sense David Pugh really was.

  3. Turner should be fighting fighting for funding.

  4. Here we ago again, another petition ‘organised’ by Conservative MP Andrew Turner. Apart from the questionable value of petitions like this, his only involvement will be in the photo opportunity when it is delivered but it creates the impression he is busy on our behalf
    By the way, it’s wrong to solely blame David Pugh for the animosity that existed between him and Mr Turner. Those who have Mr Turner’s ear helped to sour what could and should have been a working relationship.

    • Davy Jones

      21.Aug.2013 4:28am

      Mr M, read the article. This is not ‘organised’ by Turner, he is supporting a national petition. The value might be questionable (who knows), but don’t let your prejudices get in the way of the facts.

      Stick up for Pugh if you like – but it wasn’t only the MP who couldn’t get on with him. The new Council seems to be able to work with him OK.

  5. Political posturing by Turner.

    He never spoke up for the island over the strategic funding, Catherine Bearder MEP has outdone him on AAS, and he did nothing over Wightlink.

    He is totally inept.

    His government left us with the problem by cutting council funding, the “Big City Fund” was never challenged as a divisive issue. We are left to argue over the crumbs.

    Nothing will come of Turner’s pathetic attempt at blowing off.

    It’s down to the people to fight for just funding and an end to this fraudulent “Austerity”.

  6. kevin Barclay-Jay

    16.Aug.2013 5:14pm

    get used to reading this statement

    ‘Speaking for the Conservative Group of Councillors, Chris Whitehouse (Newport West) said’

  7. iain mckie

    19.Aug.2013 7:37am

    Looks like Turner is starting his campaign for re-election early. This is cynical gesture politics.

    • gettingbetter

      20.Aug.2013 4:23pm

      As usual there seems to be a lot of negative people out there. I agree with Steephill Jack, it’s good to see the MP and the Council working together at last. As for ‘useless petitions’ – at last year’s Garlic Festival I remember signing Turner’s petition supporting Isle of Wight Milk – now it is in the supermarkets and I buy it all the time. Surely that’s the sort of thing an MP is supposed to do.

      • The IW Milk thing was a total red herring. The petition did nothing except offer people the opportunity to say ‘the right thing’ – oh yes I’ll buy local – who WOULDN’T say that?! The initiative Turner was enthusiastically supporting (and buying the web domain for!) misses quite a number of producers who didn’t go with the incentive of short term higher prices with direct-to-processor contracts in the 90s, but stayed with the farmer-owned coops, who now aren’t screwing down the price paid to the producers… unlike those who went direct with the dairies.

        The only thing the Milk campaign did was make Turner look like he was doing ‘the right thing’ and raise the brand of the local processor (who really needs to invest in plant to stop their milk going off so quickly!).

        It’s not negative, it’s realistic and informed.

  8. Redstream

    21.Aug.2013 2:48pm

    Great initiative to use parliamentary device such as petitioning to try to put right inequalities . Andrew Turner is a decent hardworking MP trying to cope with the largest constituency in the country and represent everyones interests , not just Conservative supporters , The IOW milk campaign shows what can be done . Turner led the campaign to get a better deal from the ferries and as a result the OFT carried out another study . But there’s unfinished work there and i hope he’s going to keep up the pressure . As for the Council , what a relief to find all the various groups working together . Sorry but David Pugh was self opinionated , removed those who disagreed with him and generally created dissension and some failed policies . Dont lets waste time on yesterdays man .

  9. isleoflove

    21.Aug.2013 9:46pm

    Errr maybe I am missing something, but surely our Member of Parliament should be getting a fairer deal from the Government for the Island. Could someone explain just what he is doing wrong? Actually don’t bother, instead why not just do something more helpful like signing the petition?


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