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Local Government Finance

Volume 401: debated on Thursday 20 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what cash reserves are available to Castlereagh Borough Council; and what statutory requirement there is for local authorities to keep reserves. [103359]

I am not in a position to state the level of cash reserves available to Castlereagh Borough Council. There is no statutory requirement for district councils to keep reserves nor is there any obligation on them to publish annual accounts. There is provision, however, in local government legislation which allows the ratepayers of the district access and opportunity to examine the detail of the accounts of their local council.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the indebtedness is of the councils in Northern Ireland. [103360]

The latest figures available relating to the level of indebtedness of district councils are at 31 March 2002 and have been extracted from the unaudited accounts for the financial year 2001–2002. The amounts of loans outstanding, per head of population for each district council are set out in the following table.

District council

Amount (£)

Antrim BC232
Ards BC231
Armagh C and DC439
Ballymena BC344
Ballymoney BC125
Banbridge DC321
Belfast CC88
Carrickfergus BC239
Castlereagh BC277
Coleraine BC385
Cookstown DC55
Craigavon BC160
Derry CC188
Down DC136
Dungannon and ST BC48
Fermanagh DC47
Larne BC167
Limavady BC265
Lisburn BC250
Magherafelt DC2
Moyle DC310
Newry and Mourne DC252
Newtownabbey BC369
North Down BC200
Omagh DC209
Strabane DC73

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what level of debt Castlereagh Borough Council has acquired up to the end of the last financial year. [103361]

At 31 March 2002, the amount of loans outstanding, per head of Castlereagh Borough Council's population is 277. This figure has been extracted from the unaudited account for the financial year 2001/2002.