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Local Government Finance

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 25 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 3 September 2007, Official Report, column 1683W to the hon. Member for Beckenham, on local government finance, whether the funding allocated for participatory budgeting in each of the pilot areas will entirely be allocated according to participation by the public. (157503)

Participatory budgeting gives residents a real say in how part of a public budget is spent. The funding in each of the pilot areas set out in the reply of the 3 September 2007, Official Report, column 1683W, is being allocated according to participation by the public.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the (a) total budget and (b) estimated administration costs are of each Government Office for the Region in England in 2007-08. (157640)

The administration budgets for the Government Offices for the regions in 2007-08 are set out in the following table.

£

GO North East

12,022,830

GO North West

16,115,770

GO Yorks and Humber

13,941,830

GO West Midlands

14,874,610

GO East Midlands

10,944,000

GO East

11,408,590

GO South East

12,929,200

GO South West

13,788,470

GO London

16,305,340

Programme budgets administered by the Government Offices are the responsibility of the Secretaries of State for the relevant sponsor Departments.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate her Department and its taskforces have made of the (a) direct and (b) indirect costs of local government inspection to (i) central Government and (ii) local government. (157652)

The Audit Commission is the only inspectorate of local government to charge a fee element to authorities for inspection. The Department for Communities and Local Government is responsible for sponsorship of the Audit Commission. The total inspection fee income in 2006-07 published by the Commission was around £11 million. This is offset by Revenue Support Grant. CLG also pays grant to the Commission to underwrite the cost of its inspection activity. In 2006-07 this grant totalled £26 million.

The Department does not hold information about the costs of inspection of local authorities by other local inspectorates.

There are no definitive figures to calculate the indirect costs of inspection to local government. The Government are committed to changing the local inspection landscape and significantly reducing the cost and amount of inspection carried out; this includes reducing inspectorate expenditure by around a third over the medium term as overall inspectorate activity is reformed. Indirect costs of inspection are expected to reduce as the amount of inspection is reduced.