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CAPPING HAS OUTLIVED ITS USE, SAYS AMA

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Councils would accept a lower level of funding if the government abolished capping, the English local authority ass...
Councils would accept a lower level of funding if the government abolished capping, the English local authority associations told the Environment Select Committee on Tuesday.

Capping distorted democracy, Association of Metropolitan Authorities Leader Jeremy Beecham told the committee.

It had been introduced as a temporary expedient but was now an integral part of the local government finance system at a time when many people did not see it as necessary.

But MPs argued that ending the capping regime would trigger a return to 1980s style big spending 'rogue' councils. Mr Beecham countered that rogue councils could be held to account by yearly elections.

The leaders of the county, district and metropolitan associations told the committee they were satisfied with the SSA review included in this month's revenue support grant announcement. But they presented the committee with proposals for more changes.

Mr Beecham singled out the additional educational needs index, which controls the allocation of almost a fifth of education SSAs. He said it was based on questionable assumptions, such as using a pupil's ethnic origin as an indicator.

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