HC Deb 19 April 1995 vol 258 c208
17. Mr. Dunn

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the council tax arrears for each inner London borough; and if he will make a statement. [17922]

Mr. Gummer

Council tax arrears for the 12 inner London boroughs at 31 March 1994 totalled £95 million. The worst council was Lambeth with £29.6 million arrears. The four worst local authorities nationally were all in inner London—Lambeth, Hackney, Islington and Southwark.

Mr. Dunn

Given that Labour-controlled inner-London councils are about as effective as a dying duck in a thunderstorm, will my right hon. Friend consider the advice that he might give the people of Dartford on how to avoid the nightmare of Lambeth?

Mr. Gummer

Dartford is one of the councils with an extremely good record of debt collection, and therefore is able to provide for council tax payers and others living in the borough an extremely good service at a reasonable price. The answer is clear. If one wants authorities of the sort found in inner London, such as Lambeth, Hackney, Islington and Southwark, vote Labour. If one wants a decent authority, such as Dartford, vote Conservative.