§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on progress since the issue of draft guidance in December 2000 on powers to enable joint working and pooling of budgets between local authorities and other public agencies. 
§ Dr. Whitehead
[holding answer 10 April 2002]: Following consultation with local authorities on draft guidance on the well being power provided under Part 1, Section 2 of the Local Government Act 2000, the Government published final guidance in March 2001. Copies are available from the DTLR website.
The Department also published on 29 March 2001 a Consultation Paper, "Working with Others to Achieve Best Value: A Consultation Paper on Changes to the Legal Framework to Facilitate Partnership Working". The proposed Section 16 powers complement the provisions in the 2000 Act, extend the approaches available to other local authority functions, and go further in some areas of activity. We expect to lay the Orders before Parliament later in the year.