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Amounts shown are calculated on headline taxes and before benefits. Where indicated the figures are calculated after the designation of authorities that required them to recalculate their budget requirement and council tax.
The data are taken from the annual council tax base forms completed by all billing authorities in England and the Budget requirement forms completed by all billing and precepting authorities in England.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make an assessment of the (a) feasibility and (b) likely effect on the economy of replacing council tax with a local income tax. 
John Healey: No. The Government agree with Sir Michael Lyonss conclusion, following his inquiry into local government, that council tax is broadly sound and should be retained. In his report Sir Michael concluded that a local income tax would result in a significant rebalancing of the tax burden.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 13 March 2009, Official Report, column 765W, on council tax: valuation, when she plans to place in the Library a copy of the information referred to in the answer. 
Mr. Khan: Communities and Local Government has outsourced its corporate IT service to Steria Limited and costs of maintaining IT equipment are absorbed into the annual cost of the service. The service cost for financial year April 2008 to March 2009 for that service was £4.5 million. Information on the cost of maintenance of other IT systems in the Department is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she has taken to reduce the level of carbon dioxide emissions arising from the operation of ICT systems in her Department under the Greening Government ICT Strategy. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) BlackBerry devices and (b) mobile telephones have been lost by (i) Ministers, (ii) special advisers and (iii) civil servants in her Department and its predecessor in each year since 2005. 
Mr. Khan: There have been no BlackBerry devices or mobile telephones reported as lost by Ministers, or special advisers in Communities and Local Government, which was created in May 2006 or its predecessor, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, in any of the years since 2005.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much her Department has spent on branded stationery and gifts for (a) internal and (b) external promotional use in each of the last five years. 
|Amount spent plus VAT|
For information relating to the amount spent on promotional materials for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister between 2002 and the abolition of the Department in 2006, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 25 October 2006, Official Report, column 1934W.
Since the establishment of the Department for Communities and Local Government the costs of gifts for internal and external promotion are not held centrally and can be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what estimate she has made of the administrative cost to the public purse of the operation of the right to buy scheme in each year since 1997; 
John Healey: The Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill provides for the Government to establish and fund the activities of the Local Authority Leaders Boards in relation to work on the preparation, drafting and implementation of the Regional Strategy.
The Department will be responsible for agreeing the scheme under which the Leaders Board in each region will be established and also for ensuring that value for money is obtained through agreement of business plans.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 29 October 2007, Official Report, columns 667-68W, on local authorities: grants, what the grant per capita to each local authority was in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10; and what the average grant per capita to (i) district councils, (ii) unitary councils, (iii) county councils, (iv) metropolitan councils and (v) London boroughs was in (A) 2008-09 and (B) 2009-10. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for how long local authorities retain revenue raised through reductions in council tax discounts on (a) empty and (b) second homes before equalisation processes in the calculation of Government grants are applied. 
John Healey: The distribution of formula grant to local authorities in England takes account of the socio-economic and demographic characteristics of the authority, together with its relative ability to raise council tax, expressed in terms of the council tax base. We then ensure that every authority receives at least a minimum percentage increase (the floor) year-on-year on a like-for-like basis. In order to pay for the cost of the floor, we scale back the increase in grant above the floor for other authorities.
Since the introduction of multi-year settlements, we have used projected tax base data in the calculation of formula grant. The starting point for the tax base projections used in the current three-year settlement, covering 2008-09 to 2010-11, is the tax base as at 8 October 2007 adjusted for student exemptions. This is then increased annually by the Secretary of States estimate of the average annual increase in the tax base for the authority between 10 October 2005 and 8 October 2007.
The actual discount applied to long-term empty homes is applied for all authorities in calculating the tax base for the purposes of distributing formula grant. Any reduction in the discount applied to long-term empty homes commencing after 8 October 2007, will not be reflected in the projected taxbase calculations until the 2011-12 settlement.
Since 1 April 2004, although billing authorities have been able to reduce the council tax discount for second homes in their area (to between 10 and 50 per cent.), a discount of 50 per cent. has continued to be assumed for all authorities in calculating the tax base for the purposes of distributing formula grant.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the effect on her Department's expenditure in 2009-10 of local government restructuring. 
John Healey: The Department's running cost budget for 2009-10 includes provision of £1.57 million for work on local governance, including work on any reorganisations of local authorities. As required by the affordability criterion for the unitary bids, implementing the unitary proposals is self-financing, and the savings generated by the new unitary councils are available to be invested in front-line services or to reduce the pressure on council tax; hence, implementing a unitary council has no additional impact on departmental expenditure.
John Healey: The final results from the Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) were published by the Audit Commission in March 2009. These showed the highest ever number of top-performing councils, with more than ever before assessed as improving strongly.
On 1 April we introduced the new system for assessment and inspection of local outcomes, Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA), as part of the new local performance framework. CAA builds and improves on CPA, covering outcomes delivered by local authorities acting alone or in partnership, and is carried out jointly by six local public service inspectorates. The first CAA reports will be published in November 2009. For each local area the reports will comprise an area assessmentwhich looks at how well local public services are delivering local priorities and how likely they are to improve in the futureand organisational assessments of individual local public bodies, including local authorities.
Ahead of CAA, following sign-off of the new Local Area Agreements (LAAs) in June 2008, a review of local areas initial efforts to prepare for LAA delivery was carried out by the Government Offices earlier this year. The review indicated that local authorities and their partners were progressing well with their LAAs, with the vast majority of areas strengthening partnership and delivery arrangements to enhance their ability to meet improvement targets.
Where performance issues are not being addressed sufficiently quickly or effectively in local areas, Government Offices will work with local partners and central
Government to provide challenge, broker appropriate action, and monitor improvement. This may range from additional support from the local government sector, to consultancy support, inspection, or ultimately formal intervention action.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she plans to publish a summary of the responses to the consultation on Changing Council Governance Arrangements. 
John Healey: As we indicated in our consultation document on Changing Council Governance Arrangements, we will produce a summary of responses within three months of the close of the consultation 13 March 2009. This will be published on the Departments website.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate her Department has made of the average (a) business rate bill and (b) aggregate business rate revenue at (i) the end of transitional relief period in 2009-10 and (ii) the point at which the 5 per cent. rise in the multiplier will be applied in 2009-10. 
The reduction in rate yield due to full rate increases being deferred for 2008-09 was £106 million. The net change in yield as a result of transitional relief in 2008-09 was £69.4 million. Data for 2009-10 are not yet available.
In 2009-10 businesses will be able to defer a proportion of their business rates bill increase. Following is a link to an announcement of the Government's plans for deferral, which includes an estimate of the cost of the proposal:
|Hereditaments with a rateable value of less than £10,000|
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