Local Government Finance Bill

– in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 am on 2 February 2017.

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[Mike Gapes in the Chair]

Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Party Chair, Co-operative Party, Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government) 2:00, 2 February 2017

On a point of order, Mr Gapes. In what is a wonderful coincidence, one of my written parliamentary questions about when we can expect the publication of all the responses to the consultation document that Ministers released in July last year has been answered today by no less a figure than the Minister present himself. Helpfully, the answer tells me that there were 450 responses; less helpfully, it implies that they will be published in the fullness of time and only in summary form. Do you have any explanation, Mr Gapes, for why only a summary will be published? In the interests of full transparency, what is wrong with allowing us to see all the detail of the responses?

I have not had an explanation for anything. As the hon. Gentleman knows, the procedure for publishing written answers does not come through the Chairs of Committees. I suspect that this will be a matter for debate as we go on. The Minister is present, so he will no doubt be able to answer questions or interventions at a later stage. Without further ado, we resume the debate.

Clause 1