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TREASURY DEAF TO CASH PLEAS

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Pleas for more financial freedom for local government have fallen on deaf ears at the Treasury, local government mi...
Pleas for more financial freedom for local government have fallen on deaf ears at the Treasury, local government minister Hilary Armstrong conceded at the best value and employment conference in London last week.

Councils and unions had earlier stressed that best value would depend on councils gaining greater financial control. Ms Armstrong said it was impossible not to hear the message of scarce resources from councils.

'I keep saying that to my colleagues, particularly in the Treasury. We're in a constant battle for finding the sorts of resources you need.'

But she said best value was more about how available resources could be used in more efficient ways.

Local Government Association chairman Sir Jeremy Beecham said the government's finance proposals were not robust enough, particularly on local control of the business rate and non-housing capital receipts.

'We've got to push on all of these because if we don't get the finance system right the rest of it isn't going to work.'

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