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EXTRA£62M BOOSTS SETTLEMENT

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Councils are to receive an extra£62m in the local government finance settlement finalised this week. ...
Councils are to receive an extra£62m in the local government finance settlement finalised this week.

Of the extra,£27m comes from the DTLR, while the rest is from the Department for Education & Skills in the form of ring-fenced education grants.

Local government minister Nick Raynsford has pledged£15m to cover an error which left many district councils beneath the promised minimum increase of 2.3% (LGC, 21 December 2001).

A further£12m is to be handed out to councils to cover a glitch in calculations which failed to take into account the

National Care Standards Commission.

Mr Raynsford said: 'This change would have had adverse impacts for a number of authorities.'

The final settlement was due to be debated in the House of Commons this week and the Local Government Association was set to renew its call for more funds for social services.

A briefing paper said: 'The LGA views with great concern the failure to provide extra resources for personal social services beyond those already announced, especially after the mounting evidence from councils which suggests there are serious difficulties in delivering social care services.'

Total standard spending - council spending the government will support - is to increase by£4bn in the next financial year. Overall funding, including the settlement, business rates and specific grants, is to increase by 7.5% to£3.3bn.

But Mr Raynsford said he expects council tax rises to be low to reflect the increase.

He said: 'Bills show clearly how much different tiers of authority are charging and by how much they have increased their part of the council tax. If any councils set substantial increases, their taxpayers will have every reason to question their decision.'

Mr Raynsford is sending each council an individual breakdown of how the settlement applies to them.

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