Councils will see their cash given to other areas

HMS Illustrious leaves Portsmouth for the last time
Picture: Shaun Roster

RETRO: Watch the last voyage of HMS Illustrious from Portsmouth

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A GOVERNMENT scheme has been slammed for ‘taking money from Portsmouth to pay Surrey’.

Figures released show Portsmouth, Hampshire, Gosport and West Sussex councils will lose more than £1.7m thanks to the government’s New Homes Bonus.

The scheme, which aims to pay councils cash based on the number of new homes built within its boundaries in the previous year, was designed to encourage new development.

But it will be funded by removing £176m from the Formula Grant – money paid to councils as their main source of government funding. As a result, it means Portsmouth City Council will actually lose £485,053 from its 2012-13 budget. Hampshire will see a cut of £681,887, Gosport’s allocation will drop by £44,027, and West Sussex £495,011.

Portsmouth’s Lib Dem leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said: ‘It’s just a way for the Conservative government to take money from poorer, already built-up, areas, and hand it to richer places. It’s a policy to take money away from Portsmouth and give it to Surrey. It’s not a surprise. They have made it clear from the start that that’s what they intend to do.’

Other local councils stand to benefit: Havant (£46,868), Fareham (£160,711), East Hampshire (£234,944), Chichester (£296,995) and Winchester (£397,765).