Local government resource review
ANEC's Local Government Resource Review Task and Finish Group was convened following the Government's announcements of the review in March 2011.
Chaired by Councillor Henig, Vice chair of ANEC, the aim of the cross-party group was to inform and influence the review, by considering:
- The implications of the Local Government Resource Review proposals for the North East;
- how the retention of business rates would affect local authorities in the North East;
- how the proposals equated to the principle of ‘fairness' and exploring what the principle meant for the North East;
- ways to achieve Government objectives to improve accountability and equalisation in relation to local government resources, whilst ensuring fairness in the distribution of resources; and
- ways in which local authorities could be supported to achieve a more stable future that would help to stimulate economic growth.
The Government formally launched its consultation on proposals for the Local Government Resource Review in July. To coincide with this, the work of the group was captured in a report, ‘Response of the Association of North East Councils to proposals for a Review of Local Government Finance'.
Launched in Westminster the report set out some principles, issues and case studies, which it recommended should form a vital part in consideration of any new system.
The report made the case for why any new system for financing councils should take into consideration the needs of people and places in all parts of the country, no matter what their needs are, who they are, or where they live. The document also set out the case for principles of fairness, need and equity to underpin any future proposals, highlighted negative and unintended consequences of the Government's proposals and underlined these with compelling case studies provided by authorities.
ANEC went on to develop a response to the consultation, along with an executive summary, in conjunction with Finance Directors from across the North East. ANEC's response to the consultation was published in October 2011 and informed a Private Members' Debate on the Localisation of business rates in the North East, held in Westminster.
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