The prime minister has been accused of starving the suburbs of up to £1bn a year that is being diverted to inner cities. The Daily Telegraph

The leaders of some of the biggest suburban councils are to meet today to discuss a ‘State of the Suburbs’ report, which warns that some middle-class boroughs are being neglected.

The councils are complaining because the government takes up to £1bn in business rates and Council Tax, which is redistributed elsewhere.

Barnet, in London, last year lost £18million to central government, but had three applications for more money to spend on its schools turned down by Whitehall. Michael Freer, leader of Barnet council, said: ‘The cracks are starting to show.

‘Our hospitals can’t cope, our roads are at gridlock, the schools are full, you can’t get into a dentist or a doctors’ surgery. All of the things that make a suburb a pleasant place to live are now under strain. The Government needs to redress the balance.’

Trafford council, on the outskirts of Manchester, loses £80m of its business rate income to central government every year. Susan Williams, the council’s leader, said: ‘It is the business rates that are the killer.’