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Local Government

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions are planned between officials of the Office for National Statistics and those of the Department for Communities and Local Government on the local government financial settlement for 2007-08, in relation to population changes caused by immigration from EU accession countries; and if he will make a statement. (85007)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 18 July 2006:

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what discussions are planned between officials of the Office for National Statistics and those of the Department for Communities and Local Government on the local government financial settlement for 2007-08, in relation to population changes caused by immigration from EU accession countries. (85007)

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and ONS are in regular contact at a working level to discuss a range of statistical issues around population. None of these discussions will be about the local government financial settlement which is the responsibility of DCLG and not a matter for ONS. In addition the ONS’ National Statistics Centre for Demography hosts the Central and Local Government Information Partnership (CLiP) Population Subgroup. This is the forum ONS uses to discuss statistical issues pertaining to the estimation of population with central and local government. DCLG are represented on this group.

ONS produces the mid year population estimates on a consistent basis, for all local authorities in England and Wales. These are the best available estimates at the time of their publication. They are based on the UN definition of a long term migrant i.e someone who changes their country of usual residence for a period of at least a year. The 2005 Mid Year Estimates, due to be published on 24 August 2006, will include an estimate of the number of long term immigrants from the EU accession countries.