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Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:40 pm on 1st February 1995.

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Photo of Mr Alan Howarth Mr Alan Howarth , Stratford-on-Avon 4:40 pm, 1st February 1995

Warwickshire is asking not for special treatment but for a fair deal. Our frustration is that year after year after year our representations appear to be ignored. It is no surprise that in a zero-sum game other local authorities are not interested in easing Warwickshire's position. If we care about the quality of our democracy, we should be strengthening the independence and scope of elected local government for which a strong mechanism of accountability now exists through the council tax. Does my right hon. Friend agree that our future quality of life, as well as our economic competitiveness, depends to a large extent on whether we invest in our schools? I therefore very much regret the Government's proposals for capping and SSAs—certainly as they bite in Warwickshire—which run counter to these purposes.