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Local Government Finance

Volume 226: debated on Wednesday 16 June 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps are taken to ensure that expenditure and revenue controls imposed on a local authority by his Department are not so substantial or at such short notice as to make the reduction unreasonably difficult to achieve.

In recent years, as local authorities themselves requested, we have announced our provisional capping criteria well in advance of the date by which they must set their budgets.Before proposing a cap for any authority designated for capping, my right hon. Friend takes into account all available relevant information. It is then open to an authority to challenge its proposed cap and to suggest some higher alternative. The supporting case made by the authority and all other relevant available information about its circumstances is carefully considered before a decision is taken on its final cap. That final cap must in the view of my right hon. Friend be reasonable, achievable and appropriate in all the circumstances of the authority.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the five highest year-on-year reductions in net expenditure required of a local authority to bring its budget into conformity with the controls imposed under the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980, since the Act came into force.

The Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 contains no provisions relating to the reduction of local authorities' expenditure.