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Local Authorities (Recession)

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 9 March 2010

6. What recent representations he has had from local authorities on the effects on them of the recent recession. (321001)

My Department is in regular dialogue with local authorities about the impact of the current economic climate and the commendable measures that most councils are taking to ameliorate this. Their efforts have been helped by above-inflation funding increases from central Government to local authorities overall.

I will be very quick, Mr. Speaker. Can the Minister tell me what the financial impact will be on social cohesion?

Fortunately, the impact on social cohesion has been less than it was in previous recessions in the previous century. In fact, certain statistics such as crime figures have fallen by 8 per cent., whereas in the previous recession they went up by 19 per cent.