Enfield Over 50s Forum president Monty Meth on why the group has launched a new campaign for fairer funding
Faced with continued under-funding of our health, education, local authority and public services, Enfield Over 50s Forum has launched a cross-party, multi-faith ‘Enfield Declaration for Fairer Funding’.
We are asking prominent local community leaders to join us in endorsing this declaration. We want to ensure that Enfield is not forgotten in the promised spending spree directed at the Midlands and North following December’s general election.
The declaration is directed primarily at the prime minister; the secretary of state for health and social care; secretary of state for housing, communities and local government; plus the chief secretary to the Treasury. They will be pressed before the upcoming budget in March to honour a promise, given last year to the forum, that future funding “will be decided in a fair, robust and evidence-based way”.
That pledge followed one given in 2018 by Rishi Sunak MP when, as minister for local government, he promised that the issues raised by the forum’s fairer funding petition – signed by 10,000 Enfield residents – “will be looked at closely”.
Now that Rishi has been promoted to the role of chief secretary to the Treasury, we think he is in a stronger position to see that the specific funding issues raised by the forum will be honoured. Among the first local signatories to the declaration are Baroness Tyler of Enfield, chair of Enfield Poverty and Inequality Commission; Pamela Burke, chief executive of Enfield Carers Centre; Jill Harrison, chief executive of Citizens Advice Enfield; Reverend Melanie Smith from Enfield United Reformed Church; Emma Rigby, founder of Love Your Doorstep; Jo Ikhelev, chief executive of Enfield Voluntary Action; and Chandra Bhatia, chief executive of Enfield Racial Equality Council.
As signatories we wish to draw attention to the grossly unfair and continuous under-funding of our borough by successive governments and their statutory services. Because it does not take absolute levels of need into account, and updated evidence-based data is excluded, Enfield is perpetually under-funded. Persistent but remediable health inequalities, between us and other North London boroughs, continue.
For example, compared with our £47 per head of Enfield’s growing population, the average public health grant for 2019/20 across all London boroughs is £73 per head. This gap between Enfield’s public health allocation and the London average has increased from £24 to £26, despite ministers in 2015 telling Enfield MPs that we were 13.6% under-funded. Why has Enfield’s public health grant been cut by £446,000 this year to £47 per head, while Islington receives £103 per head, Camden £100, Haringey £69 and Kensington and Chelsea £130?
Having been subject to spending cuts since 2010 of some £180million, our council services face pressures as never before. So now is the time to make our voices heard. Let’s declare loud and clear that Enfield needs a fair funding deal from government.
Support the Enfield Declaration for Fairer Funding with your name, designation and your organisation:
Email [email protected]
Post Enfield Over 50s Forum, Millfield House, Silver Street, Edmonton N18 1PJ
Read the Enfield Declaration for Fairer Funding online: