We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Local Authorities (Administrative Burden)

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 15th July 2010.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Stephen Mosley Stephen Mosley Conservative, City of Chester 10:30 am, 15th July 2010

What steps he is taking to reduce the administrative burden placed on local authorities by central Government.

Watch this
Embed this video

Copy and paste this code on your website

Hide

Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

We have already scrapped the comprehensive area assessment and regional spatial strategies, as well as removing ring-fencing from more than £1 billion of local government spending. We are currently inviting local government to identify the statutory guidance, legislation and regulations that it thinks should be removed, and we will go much further by introducing a decentralisation and localism Bill later in the year.

Watch this

Photo of Stephen Mosley Stephen Mosley Conservative, City of Chester

One consequence of reducing the administrative burden on local councils and freeing them to take more decisions locally will be to allow them to offer different levels of services from their neighbours. Does my hon. Friend agree that far from being a bad thing, that will allow good councils to differentiate themselves from bad councils and allow local council tax payers the ultimate decision on the type of council they desire?

Watch this

Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Freedom for local authorities to respond to the priorities and needs of their residents is absolutely a good thing and is a top priority of this Government.

Watch this

Photo of Fiona Mactaggart Fiona Mactaggart Labour, Slough

But what does the Minister say to local authorities such as mine that face a larger burden of in-year cutbacks than neighbouring authorities? What does he say about the additional burdens that he has put on to them by forcing them to cut previously agreed budgets with voluntary sector organisations and local services, meaning more expensive ways of managing their budgets?

Watch this

Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

First, the hon. Lady forgets the financial situation that we inherited-that is fundamental. Secondly, because we have removed ring-fencing and reduced the percentage of ring-fenced funding, we have made sure that local authorities have more flexibility in how they save money. Thirdly, despite our dire financial inheritance, we have ensured that no local authority would have to make a reduction of more than 2%.

Watch this

Photo of Fiona Mactaggart Fiona Mactaggart Labour, Slough

Slough is facing a reduction of 3.19%.

Watch this