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NHS: Finance

Volume 460: debated on Thursday 24 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how she plans to ensure that local councils which receive a targeted grant provided for making contractual arrangements with a host organisation to support a LINK spend all the grant for that purpose. (136435)

The Department will allocate the targeted specific grant to local authorities with social services responsibility under section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003.

While this grant will not be ring-fenced, the targeted grant enables us to target precise amounts to individual authorities. Local authorities will be under a statutory duty to establish local involvement networks (LINKs) and the grant amounts will be publicly available.

We will be encouraging health overview and scrutiny committees (OSCs) of local authorities to scrutinise the amount of money each host organisation receives in relation to the grant allocated to the local authority. We are working with the Centre for Public Scrutiny to ensure OSCs are supported in this role. LINKs will also be under a duty to produce an annual report to the Secretary of State, which will need to include details of the amounts of money allocated to them for their activities.