Local Government: Companies

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered on 28th June 2022.

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Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make it his policy that limited companies owned and controlled by local authorities in England be required to have at least two independent directors; and if he will make a statement on the transparency and accountability of such companies to local payers of council tax.

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch Minister for Equalities, Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government), Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office), Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (jointly with Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

Local authorities are autonomous public bodies responsible to their electorate for the decisions they take. They have a duty to ensure good financial management and governance, including clear audits on how the local authority is allocating its funding. Concerns about how the council uses taxpayers' money or alleged impropriety in the handling of funds can be raised directly with the local authority's independent auditor. The Government considers the need to directly intercede with authorities only where it is appropriate and necessary to do so.

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