HC Deb 30 January 2003 vol 398 cc1019-20W
Mr. Beith

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will(a) list and (b) quantify those factors in the local government finance formula which determined the increase proposed for (i) Berwick-on-Tweed Borough and (ii) Teesdale District. [93263]

Mr. Raynsford

Berwick-on-Tweed received an increase of 5.6 per cent. in Formula Spending Share (FSS) in the provisional settlement compared to 2002–03, to £135 per head. For Teesdale, these figures were 15.6 per cent. and £136 respectively. After their ability to raise council tax is taken into account, this gives grant increases for Berwick of 3 per cent. (the floor) and Teesdale 12.5 per cent. (the ceiling).

Many indicators have been removed, replaced, or updated in the EPCS Formula Review, and it is difficult to quantify every impact of the formula changes on each district.

Teesdale gains significantly and Berwick loses from the formula no longer taking account of overnight visitors. Both districts lose FSS from the removal of the old housing deprivation indictors (less so for Teesdale) and the lower sparsity weighting. Teesdale gains from the lower weighting for numbers on income support, but loses slightly due to an estimated population decline after the 2001 Census.

Mr. Waterson

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many representations he has received from(a) individuals and (b) organisations in (i) East Sussex and (ii) Eastbourne relating to changes to grant distribution. [93495]

Mr. Leslie

The number of representations we have received since the Government published the consultation paper on the Formula Grant Review on 8 July 2002, is tabled as follows.

Formal response to the Formula Grant Review Formal response to the provisional local government finance settlement 2003–04 Other
East Sussex County Council 2 2
Eastbourne Borough Council 1
Hastings Borough Council 1 1
Lewes District Council 1
Bother Borough Council 1
Wealden Borough Council 1
East Sussex Fire Brigade 1
Sussex Police Authority 1 1
From MPs on behalf of East Sussex 24 4 14
From MPs on behalf of Eastbourne 2
From members of public in East Sussex 76
From members of public in Eastbourne 9

In addition a number of letters were received from schools in the above area concerning the funding of education which were passed to the Department for Education and Skills for reply.

Dr. Julian Lewis

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list by local authority the funding per head of population for social services departments under the terms of the provisional settlement for 2003–04. [93975]

Mr. Raynsford

A table showing the Personal Social Services Formula Spending Share (PSS FSS), the mid-2001 population estimate and the PSS FSS per head by local authority has been placed in the Library of the House.

The FSS amounts are not cash. Instead they are used in the distribution of formula grant to local authorities. Formula grant is unhypothecated. FSSs are not spending targets, authorities are free to set their own budgets subject to local spending priorities.