Sir Edward Leigh, the Conservative member of Parliament for Gainsborough, has been working alongside West Lindsey District Council to review the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government's datasets to prepare a good case for new funding for Gainsborough.
Sir Edward pointed out that statistical neighbours like East Lindsey, Torridge, and King's Lynn and West Norfolk were awarded a higher priority of need than West Lindsey despite evidence indicating they are in similar positions.
In his letter to the Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick, Sir Edward, said: "When cannot see how West Lindsey has merited a priority 2 allocation. The data sets that are freely available indicate a very similar position to the three priority 1 statistical neighbours with regards journey times, unemployment, and economic productivity.
“West Lindsey has lower economic productivity and higher unemployment than two of the local authorities allocated priority 1 status, and equal to or higher average journey times than all three priority 1 authorities."
Sir Edward asked the Communities Secretary to clarify how West Lindsey's status has been determined, given that the 24th most deprived area in the country is in Gainsborough Town.
This is not the first time Sir Edward has raised this issue with the Secretary of State as he also wrote him a letter in February this year.
In that letter he wrote: “In my constituency, Gainsborough’s South West ward is consistently rated as among the most deprived in the country. Fuel poverty rates here are double the national average and over 50 per cent of homes fail the decent homes test.
"Hundreds of people rely on the local food bank and life expectancy is 6.8 years lower for women and 8.4 years lower for men than in the least-deprived areas of West Lindsey. In 2019 the unemployment rate in the South West ward was 22.7 per cent compared to 3.9 per cent nationally.”