HC Deb 21 May 2002 vol 386 cc216-7W
Mr. Levitt

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to promote e-Government at parish council level; and what funds are available to parish councils to achieve this. [55823]

Dr. Whitehead

The Government's target to see all local government services electronically enabled by 2005 only applies to principal local authorities and fire authorities, and does not apply to parish and town councils.

As they are not subject to this target, parish councils are not being funded directly under the £350 million Local Government On-Line (LGOL) Programme. The national strategy for local e-government, which is currently being subject to wide consultation, makes clear that successful local e-government and customer focused services depend upon the interaction of local authorities with a range of other public, voluntary, community and private sector bodies. Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) are potential leaders in joining up e-enabled access channels and service delivery at the local level. Parish councils, as their tier of government closest to local communities, have a significant role to play in these LSPs.

We are making available up to £75 million over two years to support the development of local and regional partnerships between councils, and other local service providers such as the police and the health service. Parish councils will also be able to tap into the knowledge and skills already being developed under LGOL.