I attended the debate on local government finance for 2015-16 last Tuesday, and had a meeting with the Minister as well.
During the debate Labour announced that they would scrap the new homes bonus which has helped Wokingham recently, giving this money to larger urban authorities with higher levels of deprivation. Conservatives in the debate pointed out that we need the new homes money to help pay for the extra schools, roads and other facilities that new development requires. Ministers reaffirmed their wish to continue with extra money for authorities that are building new homes.
It is important that the local authority settlement recognises the financial needs of authorities like Wokingham and West Berkshire, where infrastructure did not keep up with housebuilding in the Labour years, and where we need to catch up with provision as well as catering for the new needs created by additional building.