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Standard Spending Assessments

Volume 229: debated on Friday 23 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what percentage of the total local authority grant distribution is influenced by the number of single-parent families living within an authority's area.

[holding answer 20 July 1993]: The distribution of revenue support grant to local authorities depends on the difference between each authority's standard spending assessment and its income from business rates and the council tax. It is not possible to say how much of the grant distribution is attributable to any one of these influences.The proportion of children living in single-parent families forms one component of the additional needs, children at risk and children's social index indicators used to calculate the SSA elements for education and personal social services. The proportion of persons living in single adult households with children under age 16 is also one component of the all-ages social index used to calculate the SSA elements for all other services and for personal social serevices for people aged 18 to 64 years.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what percentage of the total grant distribution for local authorities is determined by the percentage of households (a) without access to an inside lavatory and (b) sharing accommodation.

[holding answer 20 July 1993]: The distribution of revenue support grant to local authorities depends on the difference between each authority's standard spending assessment and its income from business rates and the council tax. it is not possible to say how much of the grant distribution is influenced by any one of these elements.The proportions of persons in households without exclusive use of a bath or inside lavatory and in shared accommodation are two of the five components of the all ages social index used to calculate the SSA elements for all other services—for shire districts only—and for personal social services for people aged between 18 and 64 years. The proportion of persons in shared accommodation also is one component of the children's social index used to calculate the SSA element for children's social services.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the validity of the 1991 census data on (a) the percentage of households sharing accommodation and (b) the number of households with an outside lavatory as measures of housing need as part of the standard spending assessment system.

[holding answer 20 July 1993]: The proportions of persons in households in shared accommodation and without exclusive use of a bath or inside lavatory are two of the five components of the all ages social index used to calculate the SSA elements for all other social services—for Shire district services—and for personal social services for people aged between 18 and 24 years. The appropriateness of the index and its components are being considered in consultation with the local authority associations, as part of the SSA review which is underway at present.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made as to the extent to which declining school populations put additional cost per pupil burden on local authorities; and if he will consider recognising such costs as part of the review of SSAs currently being undertaken.

[holding answer 22 July 1993]: None. No evidence has yet been presented as part of the current review of standard spending assessments on the extent to which declining school populations create unavoidable additional costs per pupil in providing a common level of service.