A GOVERNMENT grant designed to help bridge a funding gap that means people in the countryside miss out has paid some rural councils only £650, a North Yorkshire MP has claimed.

Anne McIntosh, who is reportedly fighting for her political future as Thirsk and Malton MP and who also chairs the Commons Environment Committee, told the House of Commons the amount of money some rural authorities received through an additional grant had been too small to make any impact.

“Some payments are as small as £650, and that is clearly not the long-term solution to the problem of rural councils not getting their fair share,” she said.

“Regrettably, the Government has rejected our call for the gap between rural and urban councils to be reduced. We must and we will continue to press the case.”

The funding arrangements mean rural areas receive less money than urban councils because the formula to calculate grants places substantial weight on deprivation levels, but little on the expense and difficulty of providing services in more remote areas.