Council concern at funding admission

The belief that the government is to change the way local
authorities are financed has been thrown into doubt by a senior
civil servant.

Lindsay Bell, director of local government finance at the Office of
the Deputy Prime Minister, told an all-party committee of MPs that
the review of how local government is funded could decide that
change is unnecessary.

If this is the case, it would deal a blow to local government
leaders who believed they had won the argument with the government
for changing the system under which three-quarters of council money
comes from central government grant. Councils would like more
freedom to raise money locally to help them focus on local

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