§ Mr. Gardiner
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assistance the Treasury offers local authorities in developing(a) ethical and (b) environmental (i) investment, (ii) banking and (iii) procurement policies. 
§ Ruth Kelly
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM), together with other Government Departments, offers assistance to local authorities in relation to these matters.
The standards of ethical conduct expected from members of local authorities in all areas are laid down in a model code issued by ODPM in November 2001.
Local authorities have wide discretion to determine policies on investment and banking. New guidelines on prudent investment practice will come into effect from 1 April 2004. These guidelines enable ethical and environmental considerations to be fully taken into account by local authorities.
Guidance on Sustainable Procurement has been issued by The Office of Government Commerce and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.