|Wot no Bus!|
The first major item was on Investment and Growth and the demise of the Regional Development Agencies. The area I highlighted was the increase in the interest costs of prudential borrowing for Councils. Just as Government is saying to the banks that they should make it easier to lend money (and are largely being ignored) Government itself is raising the costs of public sector borrowing making it more expensive to get economic regeneration projects off the ground.
The next area we looked at was the localisation of Council Tax. One possible impact is that adjoining boroughs could have differing policies on Council Tax Benefit. This is clearly bonkers and inequitable and not in the least fair. The reality however may be that there is so little financial flexibility anyway that varying policies may become more difficult but peraps not in Dorset!