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Council Tax

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:08 pm on 15th June 1995.

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Photo of John Gummer John Gummer Secretary of State for Environment 4:08 pm, 15th June 1995

No. I must answer the hon. Member for Cheltenham (Mr. Jones). On the payment of schoolteachers, the fact of the matter is that Gloucestershire county council knew perfectly well that it was necessary to restrain expenditure. It was able to have an increase in what it was spending over last year, but it has not delivered in the way in which it claimed it would be able to deliver. It has the means to find ways of spending money more efficiently and effectively. What is more, schools in Gloucestershire have significantly large balances—about £5 million, or 7 per cent., of the direct schools budget is in balances. That puts those schools in an especially favourable position.