|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
The Prime Minister: I have appointed Professor Rodney Lowe of Bristol University as the official historian to write the official history of the Civil Service since Fulton. I have also agreed to a list of topics for future official histories, as follows:
The Criminal Justice System
Policy towards the former Yugoslavia
The D Notice System
A Biography of Desmond Morton.
Mr. Beith: To ask the Prime Minister who will exercise day-to-day ministerial responsibility for the work to be designated to Sir David Omand in the fields of propriety, ethics and constitutional affairs; and whether he will report to (a) the Cabinet Secretary and (b) other Ministers on these matters. 
The Prime Minister: On Sir Richard Wilson's retirement, Sir David Omand will lead on propriety, ethics and constitutional issues for which he will be responsible to the next Secretary of the Cabinet and Head of the Home Civil Service, Sir Andrew Turnbull, who will report to the Prime Minister.
Mr. Leslie: There are several sources of funding which Government provide for local government services. Revenue grants fund day-to-day running costs other than housing. The Government have increased such Government grants by some 20 per cent. in real terms
3 Jul 2002 : Column 332W
since taking office. Housing is funded through Housing Revenue Account Subsidy and housing grants. Capital expenditure for both housing and other needs is supported through borrowing and credit arrangements and through capital grants provided by central Government.
13. Mr. Neil Turner: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State what progress is being made on a replacement formula for funding of local government; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Leslie: As announced by my right hon. Friend the Member for Greenwich and Woolwich (Mr. Raynsford) to Parliament earlier this month, we intend to consult on detailed options for a new system by mid July. We will then implement the new system in time for financial year 200304.
Mr. Leslie: The Local Government Act 2000 already empowers local authorities to do anything likely to promote or improve the economic, social or environmental well-being of their area. Proposals from the local government White Paper are included in the draft Local Government Bill which my right hon. Friend the Member for Greenwich and Woolwich (Mr. Raynsford) launched for consultation earlier this month. For example, it includes powers to trade and to charge for discretionary services.
9. Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State what assessment he has made of the reasonableness of limits on the prices of houses that can be bought by local authorities for use for social housing in high house price areas. 
Mr. McNulty: The Government impose no limit on the prices of houses that can be bought by local authorities for social housing purposes. The hon. Gentleman may be referring to a system of total cost indicators, which the Housing Corporation operates as a benchmark for assessing the value for money of social housing development schemes funded through social housing grant.
Mrs. Roche: I recently announced the start of a project to consider the feasibility of, and options for, a single equality body in Great Britain. I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Bristol, East (Jean Corston) on 14 May 2002, Official Report, column 566W.
11. Mr. Luff: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State if he will make a statement on his Department's policy on the planning process in relation to the establishment of asylum accommodation centres. 
3 Jul 2002 : Column 333W
Mr. McNulty: The Deputy Prime Minister's policy is to adhere to the procedures set out in part IV of the memorandum to DoE circular 18/84. These require the developing Department to serve a notice of proposed development on the local planning authority.
12. Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State what representations he has received from local government leaders on his White Paper on regional governance. 
21. Mr. Chope: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State when he will bring forward legislation to allow for referendums on the Government's proposals for regional government in England. 
The Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State: I cannot pre-empt future Queen's Speeches. But we intend to introduce a Bill to provide for referendums when parliamentary time allows, so that the first assembly referendum(s) can be held during this Parliament.
The Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State: I refer the hon. Member to the statement I made on 9 May 2002, Official Report, columns 27578. The full detail of our plans to create elected regional assemblies can be found in the White Paper "Your Region, Your Choice", which is in the Library of the House. We are now working to take these plans forward.
26. Dr. Murrison: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State if he will make a statement on the future of county councils in the Government's plans for regional government in England. 
3 Jul 2002 : Column 334W
The Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State: Our proposals for elected assemblies in all the regions of England are set out in the White Paper "Your Region, Your Choice". Copies are in the Library of the House.
Mrs. Roche: In the White Paper, "Strong Local LeadershipQuality Public Services", published in December, we detailed our scheme for enabling those places which want to introduce business improvement district arrangements to do so. Implementation requires legislation and the draft Local Government Bill, published on 12 June, contains the necessary primary legislation.
Mr. Leslie: Corporate governance inspection is a powerful diagnostic tool in determining the corporate and managerial capabilities of a council. A total of 15 corporate governance inspections have taken place since April 2000, and their findings reported to the authorities. These inspections have helped inform the corporate assessment model introduced as part of the comprehensive performance assessment.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|