§ Mr. David Shaw
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are his decisions on final caps for the authorities which he has designated for capping; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Gummer
I have laid before the House a draft order, under section 57 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, setting out my decisions on the final caps for the three authorities which have challenged their proposed caps and put forward higher alternatives.
For each of these authorities, I have considered all the available relevant information, including the case made by the authorities in support of a higher cap, before taking my decisions. For Castle Point and Gloucestershire, I have decided to confirm the caps which were initially proposed. In the case of Harlow, I consider that some relaxation would be justified and I have decided to increase its cap by £0.6 million.
These caps are, in my view, reasonable, appropriate and achievable in all the circumstances of the authorities concerned.
The caps for each of the designated authorities and the resulting reductions in a two-adult band D council tax in their area are as follows:
Authority Final Cap (£ million) Reduction in Council tax (£) Castle Point 7.97 18 Gloucestershire 306.61 55 Harlow 11.80 263