§ The Minister for Local Government and the Regions (Mr. Nick Raynsford)
In December, the Government published for consultation a draft of the guidance that we intend to give the Boundary Committee for England in the event that we direct them to carry out local government reviews in any of the English regions.
The draft guidance indicated that for the purpose of assessing the relative cost differential of different unitary structures of local government, we would develop a cost model, which would be made available to the Boundary Committee, and others, should they choose to use it. We said that we would consult on any model before it was finalised. Accordingly, I yesterday sent a paper with details of the work undertaken for us by Price Waterhouse Coopers, to the Local Government Association (LGA), the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accounting (CIPFA) and the Boundary Committee for England. This sets out proposals for a model, which we will be discussing with those bodies.
I have placed copies of the paper in the Libraries of the House.