§ Mr. Michael Brown
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on discussions his Department has had with North Lincolnshire council and North East Lincolnshire council regarding their standard spending assessment for 1997–98. 
§ Sir Paul Beresford
My officials have been in correspondence with the authorities on issues currently under consideration about possible changes in the standard spending assessment for 1997–98. Their views,102W and indeed those of others who have made representations to my Department, will be taken into account when we finalise our decisions on the 1997–98 settlement.
I have also met a delegation from the area, led by the hon. Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley), which made representations about SSAs.
All authorities will have the opportunity to make representations on the proposals for next year's settlement during the consultation period which follows the provisional local government finance settlement soon after the Budget statement, which will be made on 26 November.