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GUMMER REBUFFS COUNCIL SPENDING BID

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Environment secretary John Gummer said councils proposed increase in spending for 1995-96 was more than the country...
Environment secretary John Gummer said councils proposed increase in spending for 1995-96 was more than the country could afford.

The local authority associations told ministers on Tuesday that an increase in council expenditure of 2.9% - over the £44.4m councils plan to spend in 1994-95 - was needed next year to maintain current services. They said an additional provision would have to be made to meet pay increases and inflation.

Using the associations figures LGC calculated councils would need to spend £47.7bn in 1995-96 (LGC, 15 July).

Local government minister David Curry announced he would be extending the damping grant to help councils cope with changes to grants. Mr Curry said the scheme would be less generous than last year and the amount would be announced later.

DoE proposals to designate 'trust councils' leaked to LGC was generated as part of the deregulation initiative but was a 'non runner' and only 'archaeologically interesting', Mr Curry said.

Association of District Councils chairman Margaret Singh, who led for the associations, described the discussions as a 'cordial non-meeting'.

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