§ Virginia Bottomley
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what recent discussions he has had with Town and County Finance Issues Group concerning the additional costs of providing services in rural areas; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Dr. Whitehead
I met with the Town and Country Finance Issues Group last September to discuss the review of local government finance, in particular revenue grant distribution.
Our aim is to make the revenue grant distribution system fairer and more intelligible. The rural case will be considered carefully, alongside others, before we decide the way forward. Groups representing both counties and districts are on the working groups.