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Local Government Services

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 3rd May 2011.

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Photo of Aidan Burley Aidan Burley Conservative, Cannock Chase

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans he has for the future of statutory duties on local authorities concerning disabled children, young people, their families and carers; and if he will take steps to ensure that any changes to such statutory duties are subject to a (a) formal consultation and (b) full impact assessment.

Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to my hon. Friend Annette Brooke by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, my right hon. Friend Mr Pickles on 4 April, Hansard, column 739. The Government are looking to remove unnecessary, old and outdated statutory burdens imposed on local councils from Whitehall. It is not aimed at removing those which protect vital frontline services or the vulnerable. Until now, there has been no comprehensive list of the legal duties placed on councils. To remedy this, the Government agreed with the Local Government Association (the national body representing councils) that we should compile such a list so that everyone is clear what legal obligations local councils have and check whether the duties are still relevant.

There is no implication that any particular duty on the list is being considered for removal, and there is certainly no intention to remove the duties on councils with respect to support for disabled children and children with special educational needs.

The review is as much about ensuring vital duties are retained as it is about removing unnecessary burdens. Any changes to statutory duties which come about as a result of the review will be properly considered and consulted on where necessary.

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