asked the Prime Minister what representations she has received on the rating, and revaluation systems in Scotland; and if she will make a statement.
I have received about 760 such representations. By and large they express concern at both the effects of revaluation and the spending decisions of certain councils. I share much of this concern.A review of local government finance and the rating system, in which my hon. Friend the Minister with responsibility for home affairs and the environment in Scotland is involved, was announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment last October.The purpose of the review is to see whether a fairer, simpler and more stable system of local government finance can be found which would strengthen the accountability of local authorities while maintaining a reasonable balance between the interests of central and local government. The review is of course covering alternatives to domestic rates and is also concerned with businesses which at present pay rates but do not have a corresponding voice in local government elections.Commendable progress has been made, but there is much further work to be done over the next few months and it is not possible at this stage to predict the outcome.