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Local Government: Cost Effectiveness

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 6 April 2010

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden of 25 January 2010, Official Report, column 598W, on local government: cost effectiveness, what methodology was used to identify £550 million as the expected figure for savings from local government; and what arrangements will be made for local authorities unable to reach their targets for efficiency savings. (323201)

The 2009 pre-Budget report sets out a number of areas where local government will be able to find efficiency savings over the next spending period, of £550 million per year by 2012-13.

Departments have worked closely to explore potential savings across the different functions and service areas of local authorities, and the scope for local initiatives that have delivered savings to be taken up more widely. It is for individual local authorities to make efficiencies based on local priorities and use of resources.

During the CSR 2007 period, local authorities have been free to use savings to hold down council tax or reinvest in other services. Councils do not have individual targets, but where a council is failing to deliver the level of efficiencies expected of the sector as a whole, we would expect the Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership and local government office to play an active role in supporting the council.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the working estimate is of the cash value of local government’s contribution to the Operational Efficiency Programme’s target of £8 billion of efficiency savings by 2012-13; and whether the £8 billion of annual savings are cumulative by 2012-13. (323578)

Budget 2010 provided an update on the £8 billion of Operational Efficiency Programme (OEP) savings and the £3 billion cross-cutting savings by 2012-13. Details of the proportion of these savings contributed by local government are available at:

The £8 billion annual OEP savings are savings to be delivered by 2012-13, against a baseline year of 2010-11. These are not cumulative savings. More detail on OEP savings numbers is available at: