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Torbay (Economic Support)

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:46 pm on 18th March 2015.

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Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 4:46 pm, 18th March 2015

The hon. Gentleman anticipates my finale. We are clearly aware of the Barnet graph of doom, which years ago predicted that all local authority budgets would have to be spent on adult social care. Our local authorities are having to adapt. In today’s Budget we had announcements about some areas getting 100% business rate retention, but we need to shift how we fund our local authorities.

Councils across the country have been doing a fantastic job in becoming more efficient, pushing more money to the front line and finding new ways of doing things. We have supplemented those pots of money with new initiatives. For example, the power to change fund, which will come on stream soon, will enable local people to pick up services that a local authority does not wish to continue. We must think of new ways of working. We recognise the additional challenges that coastal communities face, which is why we set up bespoke support and why they have the first ever Coastal Communities Minister.

From the work I have seen in the hon. Gentleman’s constituency and around the country, I know that local people have the resilience, creativity and drive to be successful. We need to keep listening to them, learning and sharing good practice, but I am confident about the future. The journey has just started; we have got to continue growth, creating jobs and sticking with our long-term economic plan.

Question put and agreed to.

Sitting adjourned.