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Local Government Finance Settlement - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:32 pm on 19th December 2017.

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Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 6:32 pm, 19th December 2017

I am still looking forward to hearing from the noble Lord, Lord Beecham. I am sure there will be time.

I thank my noble friend very much for the welcome he has given to the pilot in Lincolnshire, and we certainly look forward to seeing how that pans out. I also thank him for the qualified welcome for the local government settlement from the Local Government Association. I have read its response and it welcomes some of what it is in the settlement. I can well understand its position. It would be most extraordinary if in any year the Local Government Association said, “That’s everything we want”, and my noble friend did not disappoint on that front.

I thank him for the welcome that he gave regarding the new homes bonus. I agree that there is a challenge in relation to adult social care—as I said, we have the summer review coming up—and I also agree that there is a challenge in relation to children’s social care. We have recognised that with additional funding but I note what he says.

I also note what he says in relation to South Holland in general, although perhaps not his request to trial full cost recovery of planning fees. We have not yet agreed to that. It is something that we are looking at, and obviously we would make sure that it went through a proper process if we did agree to it. However, I thank my noble friend for his response.