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Rishi Sunak: The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government does not collect data on the number of local authorities offering full council tax relief to working-age applicants. There are currently 2.4 million working-age claimants in receipt of a reduced council tax bill across England.
Rishi Sunak: The Secretary of State is not seeking to amend retrospectively the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007.
Rishi Sunak: My officials regularly meet with officers from Dorset councils and whilst our records show we had such a meeting in June 2016, we have no notes of that meeting.
Rishi Sunak: No guidance has been issued to Dorset Councils under the provisions of section 3(5)(b) of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007.
Rishi Sunak: The administration of council tax, including the premium on long-term empty properties, is the responsibility of local government. Local authorities have their own inspection and enforcement regimes in order to satisfy themselves as to whether a property should be subject to a premium.
Rishi Sunak: Local authorities have powers to tackle empty homes through the council tax empty homes premium and Empty Dwelling Management Orders. Local authorities can already use data collected for the purposes of council tax administration to assist with making effective use of these powers.
Rishi Sunak: The 2018 Regulations contain no provisions which have retrospective effect.
Rishi Sunak: Officials in my Department have worked closely with Dorset councils, since the Secretary of State's statement, HCWS486, on 26 February 2018, to take forward the implementation of unitarisation in Dorset.
Rishi Sunak: The evidence for the savings, including the baseline assumptions and timings, is the material submitted by Dorset Councils, including the reports by Local Partnerships and PWC, available from www.futuredorset.co.uk and the representations made in January 2018 which I have placed in the Library of the House in response to my Hon Friend’s Question UIN 129890.
Rishi Sunak: Neither Ministers nor officials give legal advice to councils as to their powers. With regard to his legal authority, the Secretary of State has statutory powers under the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 and the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016, and inherent non-statutory powers to consider proposals made by local authorities.
Rishi Sunak: No amendments to the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 which have a retrospective effect are proposed.
Resolved, That, subject to the discretion of the Chair, any written evidence received by the Committee shall be reported to the House for publication.—(Rishi Sunak.)
Rishi Sunak: This is a standard clause on the jurisdictional application of the Bill. My officials are in contact with their counterparts in the Welsh Government, who are considering whether to request that we extend the Bill to Wales. As soon as we hear from them, I will inform the Committee and the House and adjust as required.
Rishi Sunak: Local government will have access to more than £45 billion in core spending power in this financial year. In addition, local authorities estimate that they will keep around £2.4 billion in business rates growth.
Rishi Sunak: Through the social care precept, the spring Budget last year and the recent local government finance settlement, councils will have access to £9.4 billion in dedicated funding for adult social care over the three years 2017 to 2020.
Rishi Sunak: My hon. Friend raises an absolutely excellent point. I know that he will welcome the Government’s increased funding for pothole remediation after the winter that we have had, but I will take his point on board and ensure that local authorities are deploying those funds as quickly as possible.
Rishi Sunak: In England, homes are allocated one of eight property bands. Each band is a fixed proportion of the band D amount charged by each council tax-setting authority, including police and crime commissioners. The Government has no plans to change these arrangements.
Rishi Sunak: The Government recognises the importance of public toilets as a valuable community amenity and encourages local authorities to keep them open to the public. We are keeping under review the need for any further action to support local authorities, including parish and town councils, in doing so.
Rishi Sunak: The Local Government Transparency Code 2015 already sets out what procurement and spend information local authorities should publish and the format in which it should be published to ensure transparency and comparability across authorities. I am aware some councils publish on open data hubs to enable comparability and I welcome this.
Lucy Frazer: My hon. Friend makes a valid point, as has his neighbour, my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Rishi Sunak). I have met them both and the police and crime commissioner for the area. It is important to consider the appropriateness of pilots for mobile technology, and we will do so.