I cannot tell my hon. Friend how the approval process used to work, but I can tell him that, in the new Department for Communities and Local Government, that kind of expenditure would never be signed off without someone political taking the decision right from the outset.
We have announced that we will move away from the wasteful inefficiency of central targets and towards incentives involving more carrot and much less stick. Last week, we scrapped the comprehensive area assessment, saving the taxpayer £39 million.
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