§ Ms. Walley
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take action to increase to above the national average the standard spending assessment formula for Staffordshire county council to take account of the problems highlighted by pindown and the Utting report.
§ Mr. Key
The standard spending assessment measures the appropriate cost of providing a standard level of service. It is calculated by means of a formula based on each local authority's demographic, social and geographic characteristics. The personal social services element of the formula is applied in the same way to all social services authorities. It would not be appropriate to apply a different approach to the assessment for any individual authority.