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Local Government: Statistics

Volume 487: debated on Monday 2 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many items of data local authorities are required to collect for the purposes of (a) compilation of the national indicator set and (b) data returns to her Department outside the national indicator set. (252290)

The data items required to underpin the national indicator set are either collected by individual Whitehall Departments or input directly into the Data Interchange Hub by local authorities. The NIS hand book, available at

gives details of the data required for each indicator.

Regarding data returns outside of the national indicator set, work is underway within the Department to categorise all data collections and implement a 30 per cent. reduction in data collected by May 2010. This in line with the commitment made in the Local Government White Paper to limit data collection to that which is necessary for reasons such as financial management and policy development. Until this work is further advanced, the number of data returns which local authorities are required to continue to collect could be established only at disproportionate cost.

The Department has recently published an update to its simplification plan, which is available at

This contains a list of data which the Department has already stopped collecting for local authorities and also sets out other activity underway to reduce the burden of data collection.