The joint leader of the Council, Peter Lee, reckoned that if Cambridgeshire was treated equally to Bedfordshire in getting an Area Cost Adjustment, it would receive £16M extra (CEN 20-May-1996).
However the Council damaged its case:
The Government and Parliament refused the request, saying that the Council's £53.8M reserves plus the SSA were adequate (House of Commons vote: 174 to 118).
The County Council has to pay the City Council £300,000 for sending out fresh Council tax bills for the lower amount (£21 pounds per month off a Band D bill). The County Council has also had to raise charges for social services.
Subsequently an independent review of central government funding of councils concluded that Cambridgeshire should have about £10M extra. Cambridge City Council should have £240,000 more and the Police Authority £830,000.
[With Peterborough and Northampton getting unitary authority status, I wouldn't be surprised if Cambridge finally gets it soon: one of the major factors in such decisions seems to be Government antipathy to County Councils.]
See also: County Council must keep to Government budget, County 'robbed' by the Government and County's struggle for £10M from Government at ECOLN.