HC Deb 09 February 1998 vol 306 c29W
Sir Brian Mawhinney

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the oral answer of 2 February 1998,Official Report, column 709, if he will specify those areas of local government activity which will show resource savings as a result of the implementation of statutory duties on local authorities as contained in the Crime and Disorder Bill [Lords], and estimate the amount of savings in each case. [27945]

Mr. Michael

[holding answer 5 February 1998]The nature and precise extent of such savings will vary from one local authority to the next, depending on the kind of crime and disorder problems in each area identified by the audit which the Crime and Disorder Bill will require, and the priorities of the crime and disorder strategies as agreed with key partners locally. It is not possible to put any meaningful figures on this yet, but we expect there to be potential for considerable savings. This point was broadly acknowledged by many of the local authorities which responded to our invitation to comment on these proposals before the Bill was published.

Examples of local government activity which might benefit from these proposals include: Housing—reduced capital expenditure on repairs to property damaged by vandalism. Reduced time in pursuing complaints for which the remedies are adequate. Social Services—reductions in the costs associated with dealing with the incidence of youth crime and its aftermath. Education—reduced bills for repairs to school buildings, and savings arising from improved attendance rates and less disruption in the classroom.

Just as importantly, the Crime and Disorder Bill will put local authorities where they should always have been—in the forefront of the fight against crime. Local surveys have shown time and again that this is seen as a core activity for local government by the people which it exists to serve. We are determined to give local authorities the powers they need, and want, to meet this wholly legitimate demand by local communities.