Parish Councils

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 21st February 2012.

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Photo of Eric Ollerenshaw Eric Ollerenshaw Conservative, Lancaster and Fleetwood

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his policy is on making parish and town councils eligible for the (a) New Home Bonus and (b) Business Rate Retention Scheme.

Photo of Grant Shapps Grant Shapps The Minister for Housing

Following consultation, the New Homes Bonus final scheme design setting out the mechanism for payment allocations was published on 17 February 2011. Parish and town councils are not eligible for New Homes Bonus and we currently have no plans to extend eligibility to these authorities. However, we expect receiving authorities (districts, counties and unitary authorities) to lead a discussion with communities, including parish and town councils about their priorities for investment.

The Government set out their proposals for business rates retention on 19 December 2011. These proposals will enable major precepting authorities to retain at least a proportion of business rates. There are no plans to enable parish and town councils to be eligible for such funding. They will continue to be funded through a precept on the council tax.

We have consulted on proposals to ensure that a meaningful proportion of the community infrastructure levy collected in an area is passed directly to parishes and town councils. Parishes would be free to spend their community infrastructure levy income on items which support development of their area. We are currently considering consultation responses.

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