Cutting red tape

In the Spending Review last Wednesday, I secured a fair deal for councils which will mean they can protect the interests of hard-working families and the most vulnerable in society.

Given the legacy of debt we have to tackle, tough choices have been inevitable. But the deal we’ve struck has been to protect frontline services by cutting out bureaucracy and central Government. We’re giving councils unprecedented freedoms and control over their money; so that they can decide for themselves how best to meet local needs.

To help them do that, we’ve set aside

�650 million to fully fund a council tax freeze for householders next year. If your council decides not to put up your rates, we’ll provide them with an increase in funding so services don’t have to suffer and you aren’t hit in your pocket.

We’ve cut the red tape which comes attached to public money. Billions more will go to councils to support social care and vulnerable elderly people. We’re scrapping the culture of targets which wastes millions of pounds each year and stops councils from concentrating on what people actually want. – Eric Pickles, Communities and Local Government Secretary, House Of Commons, SW1.