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A split has emerged in the Association of County Councils over the distribution of£1.6 billion used to offset high...
A split has emerged in the Association of County Councils over the distribution of £1.6 billion used to offset higher operating costs in the south-east of England.

The division has opened up because the government asked councils to put forward alternative methods for calculating the area cost adjustment for 1996-97.

A group of 11 south-east counties are opposing the ACC's drive to overhaul the system (LGC, 18 August).

The ACC says the adjustment mechanism has got out of hand. The money distributed by it has doubled since the system was introduced in 1991.

But the 11 counties, which represent one-third of the total shire population, say they still support the existing system as the best way of compensating for the additional costs of employing staff in the south-east's more competitive labour market.

To defend their position the counties, independently of the ACC, have submitted their own paper to the special joint association/DoE committee set up this year in an attempt to resolve outstanding disputes over the area cost adjustment.

The associations failed to agree and have submitted separate reports.

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