I am glad that rural projects in the county have benefited from receiving over £270,000 through the Cheshire LEADER programme, creating dozens of jobs in the process.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and start patting the EU on the back for this success. Between 2007 and 2013, Cheshire received in the region of £150 million through EU structural and development funding. However in that same period, Cheshire had paid in £535 million, meaning that we were paying a whopping £3.58 for every pound we received.
Since 2013 and with Eurozone economies stagnating compared to our modest growth, I suspect Cheshire will be asked to pay even more and get much less in return.
DEFRA may be trying to reassure us that this sort of EU ‘funding’ will continue until 2020, but we would be far better off cutting our losses as soon as a Brexit agreement comes into force and give local authorities greater control on how they spend their money.
Louise Bours MEP