Councillor voices concern during Rishi Sunak’s visit to Wealden
Rishi Sunak met with the Wealden District Council leader Bob Standley during a visit to the district last week.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer visited Sussex on Thursday, January 6 in an attempt to assess the effect that schemes such as the Levelling Up Fund have had on local areas.
Cllr Standley said he was pleased to have the opportunity to meet with him together with Nus Ghani, Wealden’s MP.
After the meeting Cllr Standley said, “The Chancellor was keen to hear about the successes in Wealden but also the challenges. He acknowledged the good record Wealden had had in running its finances.”
Cllr Standley said he voiced his concerns regarding any new unfunded obligations imposed from Whitehall on local councils such as the collection of food waste and changes to green waste collection.
The council leader said he also raised the issue of new housing numbers, an issue which the councillor also discussed with Michael Gove during an online meeting in December.
Wealden District Council’s current position is that it recognises the need for new housing, but feels the government proposed numbers are too high given that more than 60 per cent of Wealden is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or other protected designation.
Mr Sunak particularly focused on questioning how central government funding bids such as the Levelling Up Fund has impacted the district during the meeting.
Cllr Standley said Wealden council rarely seems to be allocated further funding from central government despite having areas of deprivation.
The council leader said it was a great opportunity to speak with Mr Sunak and exchange views on the issues affecting Wealden.
Wealden was not the only place that the Chancellor visited last week, he also met with local fishermen during a trip to Newhaven on the same day.