Lib Dems warn National Service plan would see cuts to grants in Torridge after scrapping of £1m local fund

1 Jun 2024

The Liberal Democrats have warned that the Conservative Party’s plans to spend £2.5 billion on National Service would lead to cuts to support for small businesses in Torridge.

The Conservatives have said their plans would be paid for by slashing funding for local areas through the Shared Prosperity Fund from 2028-29, which funds projects that boost jobs and living standards, improve public services and build pride in local communities.

This fund has provided £1 million of funding for Torridge from 2022 to 2025 targeted at small and micro businesses to support rural jobs and improve local facilities.

In November last year it was reported that twenty-four businesses in Torridge had been allocated funding to brighten up their frontages, in a scheme to make town centres in Bideford, Torrington, and Holsworthy more attractive and increase footfall. Three previously empty premises were filled with new businesses as a result of the funding and five new jobs created.

Phil Hutty, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Torridge and Tavistock, commented:

“The Conservative Party has already done so much damage to people’s living standards and public services in Torridge with all their chaos.

“Now they want to slash funding for local projects to pay for their hare-brained plans for a National Service, which are nothing but a desperate distraction from the government’s record of failure on the NHS and economy.

“People across the country are being let down by a Conservative party that has failed to take rural communities seriously and support struggling local businesses and farmers.

“If the Conservatives were serious about defending Britain’s security, they would reverse their plans to cut the Army by 10,000 troops.”

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