CLG_200708_PN63

New Inquiry and Call for Evidence

Local Authority Investments

The Committee agreed on 13 October 2008 to launch an inquiry into the general principles involved in local authorities' Treasury Management.

This inquiry will inevitably draw on the recent Icelandic example, but will concentrate on the general principles involved, examining the following issues:

€ What are the present arrangements for local authorities' Treasury Management - and in particular the requirement to produce Annual Investment Strategies - and how have these affected the performance of local authorities, both as service providers and employers, given recent potential losses experienced by many local authorities?

€ In the light of recent events, are any changes needed to the framework for the scale, spread and risk of local government reserves?

€ Should local authority money be invested in Government stock, with lower risk, but with a low return? What effect would this have on UK banks and on council taxes?

€ What is the role of central government in providing financial advice and guidance to local authorities? Should any other bodies have a role?

€ Should the Government protect local authorities' investments in the same way that it is protecting personal assets? What consequence does this have for the relationship between local and central government?

The Committee invites interested individuals and organisations to submit written memoranda addressing these topics by 1 December 2008. Those doing so should feel free to include any relevant information that they would like to draw to the Committee's attention. Two or three oral sessions will be held in January/February 2009.

Guidelines on submitting evidence

Each submission should:

€ Be accompanied by a covering letter containing the name and contact details of the individual or organisation submitting evidence.

€ Begin with a short summary in bullet point form; and

€ Have numbered paragraphs.

Ideally, submissions should be sent in electronic form, preferably in MS Word format, and sent by email to [email protected] and marked 'Local Authority Investments'. If you are unable to send an electronic version, please send a paper copy to:

Nicola McCoy

Committee Secretary

Communities and Local Government Committee

House of Commons

7 Millbank

London

SW1P 3JA

It is helpful, for Data Protection purposes, for contact details not to be included in the text of submissions, but sent separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

A guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website at: http://www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/witguide.htm

Please also note that:

€ Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a hard copy of the published work may be included.

€ Memoranda submitted should be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless specifically authorised. Authorisation to publish your submission, which is normally granted, should be sought from the Inquiry Manager.

€ Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or making it available through the Parliamentary Record Office. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Committee Membership is as follows: Dr Phyllis Starkey MP (Chair, Lab), Sir Paul Beresford MP (Con), Mr Clive Betts MP (Lab), John Cummings MP (Lab), Jim Dobbin MP (Lab/Co-op), Andrew George (Lib Dem), Mr Greg Hands MP (Con), Anne Main MP (Con), Mr Bill Olner MP (Lab), Dr John Pugh MP (Lib Dem), Emily Thornberry MP (Lab).

Specific Committee Information: [email protected] 020 7219 1353 or 020 7219 4972

Media Information: Laura Kibby, 020 7219 0718

Committee Website: www.parliament.uk/clgcom

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online: www.parliamentlive.tv

Publications / Reports / Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474). Committee reports, press releases, evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus Hansard (from 8am daily) and much more, can be found on www.parliament.uk