HC Deb 10 July 1987 vol 119 c295W
Mr. Pawsey

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what impact the proposed community charge will have on those parish councils which have large industrial plants in their areas;

(2) what is the number of parish councils likely to be affected by loss of revenue as a result of the introduction of the community charge; and how many people live in these parishes in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Howard

Under the new local government finance system, parish councils will finance their expenditure by a precept on the community charge, levied as an equal amount per parish resident. Like other local authorities parish councils will cease to levy a variable non-domestic rate; instead, non-domestic rates will be levied at a uniform poundage, and pooled and redistributed as an equal amount per adult. This, together with central grant, will go towards reducing the cost to residents of the services provided by all tiers of local government, including parish councils.

Parish councils will neither gain nor lose from these arrangements. They will remain free to raise their income by precept on the rating authority. However, I remain ready to discuss particular problems with representatives of the National Association of Local Councils if they wish.

Dr. Cunningham

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if, pursuant to his reply of 29 June, Official Report, column 44, he will provide the averages for counties and standard regions of the figures contained in columns 1 to 7 of the tables placed in the Library relating to the community charge.

Mr. Ridley

[pursuant to his reply, 29 June 1987]: I have today placed in the Library weighted average figures for counties and standard regions exemplifying community charges and non-domestic rates had the Government's proposals for the reform of local finance been fully in place in 1987–88.

I must repeat the warning given in my reply of 29 June that these figures are not a prediction of community charges. They are merely illustrative figures and should be treated as such.

Mr. Fatchett

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will assess the likely cost to Leeds city council of collecting a community charge as opposed to domestic rates; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Howard

I shall answer this question shortly.