§ Mr. Gray
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what discussions he has had with Wiltshire county council about an interim award for 2002–03; if he intends the teachers' pay award to be paid from the revenue support grant; if he will make an extra grant for Wiltshire to cover(a) the duties under the Education Act 1997 to provide full-time education for excluded pupils and (b) the new special educational needs duties in early years; and if he will make a statement on the local government settlement as it affects Wiltshire, with particular reference to education and social services. 
§ Dr. Whitehead
The provisional local government finance settlement for 2002–03 continues to give priority to education and social services. Provision for spending on education overall will increase by £2.1 billion or 8.7 per cent. Personal social services will increase by £684 million or 6.5 per cent. Wiltshire benefits from this extra money. Wiltshire's provisional education standard spending assessment increase for 2002–03 is £11.58 million or 6.5 per cent. We have been consulting on our proposals and have not met individual councils during this time. We have been carefully considering all representations on the provisional settlement as we take final decisions.
Wiltshire will also benefit from the overall increase in standards fund grant of £160 million and an increase in the direct grant for schools of 2.75 per cent. The increase in the education SSA already takes account of the prospective increase in teachers' pay, the duties under the 1997 Act to provide full-time education for excluded pupils and the new special educational needs duties in early years.