Local Government Finance

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 4:58 pm on 3rd February 2010.

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Photo of Justine Greening Justine Greening Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government), Vice-Chair (Youth), Conservative Party 4:58 pm, 3rd February 2010

Thank you very much, Madam Deputy Speaker. I was making the point that part of the funding settlement that we are talking about should reward local councils when they develop their local communities by providing new homes. We would also like local councils to have incentives, so that they are rewarded for doing a good job in developing their local economies and generating local jobs. That is why we have talked about allowing them to keep the gain from business rates that they make when they do a good job of bringing new companies and new industry into their local areas.

Finally, it is time to say that local authorities with local responsibilities need to be more accountable. Authorities such as Windsor are already being far more transparent, as is the Mayor of London, putting all spend over £1,000 out for public scrutiny. We would like other councils to follow that measure. Indeed, I am sure that when the Minister wraps up, she will say that she, too, would like that-I am guessing that she would not want to go against increased transparency. We certainly want local councils to have increased transparency for their residents, because it is the best way to create an environment in which councils can not only have more power to deliver on local priorities, but be better held accountable by their local residents in doing so.

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