Councils lose Euro funds fight

Councils in South Yorkshire have lost a long-running legal battle aimed at winning a bigger share of European funds for poorer regions.

Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster challenged a decision by Vince Cable to cut their share of a 6bn Euro budget by 65% over seven years.

But they have failed to convince the Court of Appeal that the Business Secretary acted in an ‘irrational’ way.

South Yorkshire joined forces with Merseyside to argue that Northern Ireland and Scotland were being favoured unfairly and that Mr Cable’s calculations were seriously flawed. They said the cuts took no account of ‘actual economic needs’.

The High Court ruled Mr Cable had failed to comply with legislation, then the councils’ challenge was dismissed and now the Court of Appeal has upheld that decision, saying Mr Cable was entitled to a wide margin of discretion when comparing regions’ needs.