§ Lord Colnbrook
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What are their decisions on final caps for the authorities which they have designated for capping.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment (Lord Strathclyde)
My right honourable and learned friend the Secretary of State for the Environment has laid before the House a draft order, under Section 104 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, setting out his34WA decisions on the final caps for the eight authorities which have challenged his proposed caps and put forward higher alternatives. For the two authorities —Langbaurgh and Middlesbrough—which accepted the caps originally proposed for them we have confirmed their caps at the level originally proposed.
For each of the challenging authorities, we have considered all the available relevant information, including the case made to us by those authorities in support of a higher cap, before taking any decisions. For Cheltenham, Gloucester, Greenwich, Hillingdon and Lambeth we have decided to confirm the caps which were initially proposed.
In the case of the other three authorities we consider that some relaxation would be justified. We have decided to increase Basildon's cap by £1.95 million, Gloucestershire's by £2.59 million and Warwickshire's by £4.0 million. The caps that we have now decided are, in my view, reasonable, appropriate and achievable in all the circumstances of the authorities concerned.
The caps for each of the designated authorities and the resulting reductions in charges are as follows:
Authority Final Cap (£m) (million pounds) Reduction in charge (£) (pounds) Basildon 22.10 41 Cheltenham 9.91 12 Gloucester 10.15 3 Gloucestershire 320.50 18 Greenwich 220.04 56 Hillingdon 166.27 5 Langbaurgh 16.50 18 Lambeth 328.79 23 Middlesbrough 20.20 14 Warwickshire 296.99 8