HC Deb 26 June 2003 vol 407 cc900-1W
Mrs. Brooke

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what evaluation he is carrying out of the impact of the new financial formula determining the Government settlement on local councils on(a) councils in the southwest region, (b) Dorset county council, (c) Poole borough council and (d) Purbeck council. [115092]

Mr. Raynsford

In the following table are the changes in formula spending shares and formula grant (after floors and ceilings) for 2003–04 on a like-for-like basis with 2002–03 for the areas requested.

Formula spending share Formula Grant (after floors and ceilings)
Area 2002–03 FSS Comparitor £million 2003–04 FSS £ million Change £million Percentage Change 2002–03 Adjusted Formula Grant £ million 2003–04 Formula Grant £ million Change £ million Percentage Change
South West GOR 4,780.1 5,160.3 380.3 8.0 3,391.3 3,588.5 197.1 5.8
Dorset 281.7 304.7 23.1 8.2 174.4 181.2 6.8 3.9
Poole 117.3 125.0 7.7 6.6 71.8 74.6 2.8 3.9
Purbeck 5.5 6.1 0.6 10.8 2.9 3.0 0.1 3.0

In 2003–04, every council received at least a 3 per cent. increase in formula grant on 2002–03 on a like-for-like basis, which is above the level of inflation.

Paddy Tipping

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the average council tax was for each local authority in England in 2003–04. [115481]

Mr. Leslie

The information requested is available in the Library of the House.

Janet Anderson

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will review the Standard Spending Assessment of Rossendale borough council and other local authorities within whose areas there are a proportionately large number of walls, bridges, roads and culverts requiring repair and where the ownership cannot be established. [116127]

Mr. Raynsford

The Government announced its intention to freeze the Formula Spending Shares methodology (which replaced Standard Spending Assessments in 2003–04) until at least 2006–07 in the White Paper 'Strong Local Leadership, Quality Public Services' in order to provide stability and predictability for local authorities. In any case the responsibility for maintaining roads lies with the highway authority, in this case Lancashire county council. The White Paper made clear that the Government would be prepared to provide additional financial assistance only in certain very limited circumstances, which would be unlikely to include repairs of this kind.

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