THE leader of the county council has signed an open letter to the Prime Minister calling for “emergency” money next year and a fairer funding deal from the government.

The letter, co-signed by Councillor Simon Geraghty, leader of Worcestershire County Council and more than 30 other council leaders in England, called on Boris Johnson to provide extra “emergency” funding for local services next year and a “cast iron” commitment to implementing fairer funding reforms from 2021.

The letter says due to historically lower funding and deeper cuts to grants, local councils in England’s rural and shire counties are the lowest funded upper-tier authorities; receiving just £240 per person for public services such as social care, children’s social services, public health, bin collections and libraries.

The average per head funding for rural counties is 60 per cent less when compared to residents in inner London – who receive £601 per head – and 46 per cent less compared to councils in metropolitan and city authorities who receive around £419 per head.

Analysis by the County Council’s Network (CCN) revealed the 36 councils that make up the network would receive an extra £3.2 billion a year if they were funded at the same per person average as the whole of England.

County leaders say unfair funding has contributed to a “perverse” situation where some councils can keep council tax rates as low as half what residents in counties are being charged.

The average county band D household’s yearly bill is £1,826, compared to £755 in some parts of London.

The county council raised its share of council tax by 3.99 per cent last year – making £1,260.75 the average band D yearly bill in Worcestershire.