Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden, and Wealden District Council leader Bob Standley met with the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak last week to discuss future opportunities for Wealden.
The Chancellor was visiting various sites in Sussex on 6 January and met with Councillor Standley and Nusrat to discuss some of the issues currently affecting Wealden.
After the meeting Councillor Standley said: “The Chancellor was keen to hear about the successes in Wealden but also the challenges. He acknowledged the good record Wealden had had in running its finances.”
Councillor Standley voiced his concerns regarding any new unfunded obligations imposed from Whitehall on local councils such as the collection of food waste and changes to green waste collection. The council leader was also able to raise the issue of new housing numbers. Wealden District Council recognises the need for new housing and the infrastructure that is required but the government proposed numbers are too high given that more than 60% of Wealden is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or other protected designation.
The Chancellor asked several questions, in particular on central government funding bids such as the Levelling Up Fund. Councillor Standley said Wealden council rarely seems to be allocated further funding from central government despite having areas of deprivation.
Nusrat Ghani said: “East Sussex County Council and Wealden District Council often raise bids for Government funding, so I am pleased that the Chancellor visited Sussex and was keen to meet with the Wealden Council leader and myself to discuss future infrastructure projects and opportunities in the area.”