New Clause 10 - Power to abolish Public Works Loan Commissioners

Part of Infrastructure Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:00 pm on 13th January 2015.

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Photo of Roberta Blackman-Woods Roberta Blackman-Woods Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government) 5:00 pm, 13th January 2015

Let me say kindly to the Minister that I must be particularly dim this afternoon, because I do not feel any the wiser about the answers to most of the questions I asked, particularly those about where the reporting function is for the amount of local authority borrowing, whether it adheres to the prudential borrowing regime, where parliamentary oversight of that system rests and, indeed, what role the DMO has in approving loans that are undertaken by local government, if any at all.

However, perhaps we will have to wait to be enlightened by the Minister’s note, which those of us on this side of the Committee will obviously await with great anticipation. If the note does not answer those questions, perhaps we could consider this again at later stages of the Bill. I would ask the Minister to add one thing to that note, which is how the consultation process will be undertaken if this measure is approved and whether, in carrying out that exercise, he will seek to answer the questions that have been asked today. That is so that when people eventually have to make a decision on whether abolition will take place, they will have all the information before them and will be assured that there will be proper oversight of local government expenditure before that decision is made.