Monday 24 May 2010

Chief Whip talks on how to manage the coalition...

"I'm interested myself in how it's going to work – we are only at the start of a five-year Parliament and there are going to be many challenges that come along.

"With a coalition of two big parties you obviously have a broader line of support to bring together.

"It is inevitable that there are going to be times when we are taking measures jointly as a Government, but we will be whipping Tory MPs to vote for a measure taken by a Liberal Democrat.

"Yes it's going to be a challenge. But my job is always a challenge."

Click to read the full story.

Where the axe might fall on councils...

The Chancellor announced £1.165billion worth of cuts to local government funding today, but none of that will come from the main formula grant they get.

Here is a list of other grants councils get that may now face the chop.

Those marked with an 'R' against them are ring-fenced. But as we found out this morning the Government will “de-ring fence” grants worth some £1.7billion nationally.

So it is from some of the R-marked schemes that cuts may well be made (though not from Sure Start, schools or 16 to 19 education cash).

Education and Children's Services

R Dedicated Schools Grant
R Ethnic Minority Achievement
R School Lunch Grant
R Targeted Support for Primary & Secondary Strategy
R Music Grant
R Playing For Success
R City Challenge
R School Development Grant (schools element)
R Making Good Progress
R School Standards (including personalisation)
R Youth Opportunity Fund
R Sure Start, Early Years and Childcare
R Contact Point
R Aiming High for Disabled Children
R Early Years: Increasing Flexibility of Entitlement for 3-4 Year Olds
R Extended Schools – Sustainability
R Extended Schools – Subsidy
R Extended Schools - Academic Focused Study Support
R Targeted Mental Health in Schools Grant
R Parenting Practitioner Support

Adult's PSS

R AIDS Support
R Social Care Reform
R Learning Disability Campus Closure Programme


Police Grant
R Neighbourhood Policing Fund & CSOs
R Basic Command Units*4
R Crime Fighting Fund
R Initial Police Learning & Development Programme*5
R Counter Terrorism
Rule 2 Grants


Housing and Council Tax Benefit Subsidy Admin Grant
Concessionary Fares
R Bus Challenge and Kickstart
R Urban congestion
Housing and Planning Delivery Grant*3
Housing Market Renewal Fund
R Animal Health and Welfare Enforcement
R Waste Management Pilots


Cross Service GrantsWorking Neighbourhoods Fund Reward Grant
Growth Areas, Points and Eco Towns
LAA Reward Grant

Other General Grants
Area Based Grant
GLA General Grant

Don't mention the cuts...

There is a massive game of cat and mouse going on this afternoon about exactly where cuts will fall.

The Government obviously wants information to come out in a manageable stream between now, the budget and the comprehensive spending review later this year

So as hacks squeeze their contacts about where the axe will fall within particular departments, the Government communications machine is trying to put the brakes on the data flow.

I'm informed that some regional development agencies (RDAs) have been told by officials at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) today not to speak with journalists about the detail of £270m of cuts RDAs are facing.

I understand, however, that the cuts to RDAs’ budgets will not come down from one department, BIS for example, they will be across several.

Each cut from a different department may be relatively small but added up they will be substantial for some agencies.