HC Deb 29 November 1960 vol 631 cc45-6W
Mr. Birch

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proposals he has for implementing the Radcliffe Committee's recommendations for the provision of financial statistics by local authorities.

Mr. Selwyn Lloyd

The Treasury have undertaken a survey of local authority loan debt in 1960, which is almost completed, and it is proposed in due course to invite local authorities to participate in a similar survey of 1961.

In addition, by agreement with the associations of local authorities, the Minister of Housing and Local Government and the Secretary of State for Scotland propose to invite:

  1. (i) All local authorities to complete a statement of their holdings of investments at 31st December, 1960, and a summary statement of their new borrowing every quarter from the beginning of 1961.
  2. (ii) A representative sample of authorities to complete more detailed 46 statements of their new borrowing, their transactions in financial assets and their revenue surpluses every quarter from the beginning of 1961, and to furnish annual statements of their holdings of investments at 31st December, 1961, and in later years.

It is proposed to publish in due course aggregates of the figures so obtained, sub-divided by the various types of authorities, but in no case will the figures of any individual authority be disclosed.

These statistical surveys are being undertaken in pursuance of the recommendations of the Radcliffe Committee. I recognise that they will place an added burden on the local authorities, particularly while the procedures for collecting the figures are being established. But we have done our best to minimise this burden particularly for the smaller authorities; and I can asure the House that the results will be of great value, not only to the Government but also to all those (including the local authorities themselves) whose responsibilities require them to follow the course of monetary developments.