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ARMSTRONG ANNOUNCES MORE JOINED-UP COUNCIL FUNDING

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Councils are to be given greater autonomy in how they decide to use ...
Councils are to be given greater autonomy in how they decide to use

their resources, local government minister Hilary Armstrong announced today.

The introduction of the single capital pot in 2002/2003 will also

allow local authorities to be more flexible and make it easier for

them to address cross-cutting issues such as social exclusion.

Around£2bn will be distributed through the single pot in its first year.

Announcing a consultation exercise on the details of ministers'

proposals, Hilary Armstrong said: 'The government wants to see a clear and transparent funding process which rewards strategic planning and good performance and strikes a balance between local decision-making and the need to meet national priorities.

'The single pot will allow councils to decide how they can best deliver the services their communities need. They will be able to

plan ahead and manage their assets more efficiently, thanks to greater predictability in funding levels.'

NOTES

1. The white paper Modern local government - in touch with the people

promised a new cross-service allocation for the bulk of central

government capital support to local authorities - a single capital

pot.

2. Since then, research has been undertaken into the measurement of

relative need for capital expenditure, and into the measurement of

performance in asset management, and the development of asset

management plans in local government. Work has been continuing in

consultation with the Local Government Association and other

interested parties.

3. The consultation will cover ministers' proposals on the timing of

the introduction of the single pot; the coverage and scale of

resources to be contributed in early years; the broad allocation

mechanism; and the proposed arrangements for making the assessments

of councils' performance, and to invite comments on proposals for

putting into effect ministers' decisions.

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