Skip to main content

Local Government Finance

Volume 450: debated on Monday 16 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions her Department has had with Sir Michael Lyons in the last 12 months on reform of local government finance and structures. (92998)

My right hon. Friends the Chancellor and the Deputy Prime Minister appointed Sir Michael Lyons to undertake an independent inquiry to consider the funding, form and function of local government. His terms of reference do not include local government structures. My departmental colleagues and I have had a number of discussions with Sir Michael as he takes forward his inquiry.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the Government plan to continue the procedure of supplementing local government grants by an annual formula grant amending report on the basis of changes in population. (93819)

Amending reports are not a way of supplementing grants but are rather a way of retrospectively amending the distribution within a Local Government Finance Report. The total amount of grant remains the same as that distributed via the original report.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which 30 English local authorities had the (a) highest and (b) lowest council house rent collection rates (i) as a percentage of rent due net of benefit, (ii) as a percentage of gross rent due and (iii) as cash due in the last year for which figures are available. (91691)

Local authorities provided rent information to the Department for Communities and Local Government on the second advance claim form.

117 of stock-holding local authorities either reported zero rent arrears during 2004-05 or did not provide an estimate. A table showing the 30 English local authorities with the highest council house rent collection rate in 2004-05 as a percentage of rent due net of benefit and as a percentage of gross rent due has been placed in the Library of the House.

A table showing the 30 English local authorities with the lowest council house rent collection rates in 2004-05 as a percentage of rent due net of benefit and as a percentage of gross rent due has been placed in the Library of the House.

Figures on collection rates of cash due to local authorities are unavailable.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which 12 English local authorities in each class have (a) the greatest outstanding debt and (b) the greatest outstanding debt per head of population. (91693)

The following tables show which English local authorities have the greatest outstanding debt and the greatest outstanding debt per head of population at 31 March 2006:

12 English local authorities with greatest outstanding debt at 31 March 2006

Net debt at 31 March 2006 (£ million)

Birmingham

1,287.3

Leeds

1,051.1

Manchester

1,050.2

Liverpool

818.1

Sheffield

753.4

Kent

677.3

Haringey

563.6

Islington

552.7

Newham

534.4

Lambeth

480.2

Brent

471.1

Newcastle upon Tyne

452.5

12 English local authorities with greatest outstanding debt per head at 31 March 2006

£ million

Net debt at 31 March 2006

Total net debt per head at 31 March 2006

Islington

552.7

3,026

Haringey

563.6

2,511

Manchester

1,050.2

2,381

Newham

534.4

2,170

Salford

447.5

2,068

Liverpool

818.1

1,828

Lambeth

480.2

1,784

Hammersmith and Fulham

313.8

1,745

Brent

471.1

1,744

Newcastle upon Tyne

452.5

1,637

Southwark

418.6

1,624

Barnsley

346.8

1,561

A table showing the outstanding debt and outstanding debt per head of the principal English authorities has been placed in the Library of the house.

Local authorities with the highest levels of debt are generally those that have large holdings of fixed assets.