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Local Government Finance: Students

Volume 480: debated on Friday 17 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what additional support her Department makes available to local authorities with large student populations. (228021)

The Department has recently published research entitled “Evidence Gathering: Housing in Multiple Occupation and possible planning responses—Final Report”. This independent research sets out a series of cross cutting measures that could tackle and stop the complex causes and negative symptoms of concentrations of houses in multiple occupation including those in student neighbourhoods. The measures include new planning mechanisms and the widespread adoption of a number of the best common sense local solutions. We are now considering the report’s conclusions and how best to take forward the recommendations.

In terms of local authority funding, formula grant is largely distributed using the socio-economic and demographic characteristics of the authority, together with the number of band-D equivalent properties (taxbase) within the authority’s area. In order to calculate the taxbase, we take into account factors such as the number of student exemptions in the authority. For the 2008-09 to 2010-11 settlement, we implemented changes to better reflect the likely number of student exemptions in an area in this calculation.