Northamptonshire County Council

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th December 2017.

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Photo of Marcus Jones Marcus Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Local Government)

We collect a range of financial data on local government, which is published online. Local authorities also publish their own financial data, including budget documents and accounts. We routinely engage with a range of local authorities to discuss various issues, including finance.

Photo of Philip Hollobone Philip Hollobone Conservative, Kettering

Will the Minister confirm that a major review of fair funding for local government is under way? Given that Northamptonshire County Council is considering closing 28 of its 36 libraries, will he encourage it to bring forward innovative proposals to set up a county-wide libraries trust to keep those vital facilities open?

Photo of Marcus Jones Marcus Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Local Government)

My hon. Friend is absolutely right that we are pushing ahead with our review of fair funding for local authorities. I certainly encourage Northamptonshire County Council to look at all innovative ways to provide the services that are valued by its local residents.

Photo of Peter Bone Peter Bone Conservative, Wellingborough

In the light of the county council’s financial situation, would the Minister be keen to look at emerging proposals from across Northamptonshire about how local government might be better restructured?

Photo of Marcus Jones Marcus Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Local Government)

We recognise the financial pressure that Northamptonshire County Council is under and we stand ready to look at any locally-led proposals from across Northamptonshire on how local government might be better restructured to transform challenges into opportunities.