§ Mr. Cartwright
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the terms of reference of the deparmental inquiry into local government finance announced on 10 October; what organisations and individuals will be invited to give evidence; and when a final report is expected to be published.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
The Minister for Local Government and I will be undertaking a number of studies of the local government finance system. There are no specific terms of reference, but we shall be looking at the main features of the present arrangements, including rate support grant distribution, the balance between Exchequer and local financing, measures for improving local authority accountability and how total revenues might best be raised. It is too early to specify the exact time scale of the exercise or the nature of consultations.