HC Deb 09 July 1990 vol 176 cc19-21W
Mr. O'Brien

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he intends to take any action to help parish and town councils with the community charge bills because of the loss of income from the business rate; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Chope

Parish and town councils have the same access to the income from business rates as do county and district councils. I see no need for action to change this position.

Mr. O'Brien

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects those people who have a holiday caravan on a protected site within the meaning of the Caravan Sites Act 1968 to receive the benefits of the changes to the Local Government Finance Act 1988; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Chope

I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Isle of Wight (Mr. Field) on 30 March at column346.

Mr. Nellist

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, further to his answer to the hon. Member for Sheffield, Brightside (Mr. Blunkett), 27 June,Official Report, columns 258–59, whether the quarterly statistical survey referred to will be published, placed in the Library and sent to all individual right hon. and hon. Members.

Mr. Chope

I am willing to place an analysis of the returns from local authorities in the Library of the House, once sufficient returns have been received. We would also make the analysis available to the local authority associations, but I have no plans to send them to all individual right hon. and hon. Members.

Mr. Blunkett

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what criteria he used in reaching his decision to vary from his original proposal the budget reductions required of(a) the London borough of Brent, (b) the London borough of Southwark and (c) the metropolitan borough of Wigan.

Mr. Portillo

[holding answer 5 July 1990]: My right hon. Friend's decisions on caps for the 17 authorities, including Brent, Southwark and Wigan, which did not accept the caps which he proposed for them and which put forward alternative amounts within the statutory 28-day period, represent in each case his view of what is achievable and appropriate in the light of all the circumstances of the individual authorities concerned, on the basis of all the information available to him.

Mr. Hinchcliffe

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his Department's latest estimate of the additional borrowing requirement of local authorities in England and Wales arising as a direct result of late payment and non-payment of the community charge.

Mr. Chope

[holding answer 2 July 1990]: No analysis is available of the separate effects of the many factors which influence the borrowing requirements of local authorities. The indications are that the vast majority of community charge payers are already making payments to their local authorities. However, the Government have paid 25 per cent. of authorities' revenue support grant in the first two months of the financial year to compensate them for any cashflow problems caused by the introduction of the new local government finance system.

Mr. Burns

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the borough or district council element of each community charge in Essex in descending order from the highest to the lowest.

Mr. Chope

[holding answer 5 July 1990]: The operation of the collection fund means that the community charge is not split between the councils providing services in each Essex district.

If all authorities had provided a standard level of services the community charge could have been set at £278 throughout Essex, before safety net adjustments. Each additional £1 per community charge payer that a district council raises above the amount needed to provide a standard level of service adds £1 to the community charge in its area. The effect of district councils' 1990–91 budget decisions on community charges in Essex is shown in the table.

Effect on




Basildon +154
Harlow +113
Thurrock +75
Brentwood +73
Southend-on-Sea +45
Castle Point +38
Chelmsford +36
Rochford +31

Effect on community charge £
Tendring +25
Braintree +16
Epping Forest +15
Maldon +5
Colchester +2
Uttlesford -3

Notes: The figures for each district show the level of demands on the collection fund minus the standard spending assessment, expressed as an amount per head of relevant population. The standard spending assessment covers services provided by both parish and district councils. For consistency, the effects shown above include parish as well as district council spending.

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