On 19th November the House of Lords heard a statement from Government on the Towns Fund. The Bishop of St Albans asked a follow-up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans [V]: My Lords, I am also delighted that the Government have set up the towns fund, which will make a significant contribution to many poorer communities. Nevertheless, it still remains that the Public Accounts Committee has expressed concerns about why some towns were chosen and some were not. In future, will Her Majesty’s Government undertake to publish the objective criteria and evidence that will be used for selection so that everyone can be assured that there is no political influence in making these selections and choices?
Lord Greenhalgh (Con) [V]: In my answer to the previous question, I made it clear that this is a combination of using an evidence-based methodology and Ministers using their local knowledge. That benefited 101 towns in the first instance. There is more money to be spent on regeneration, but the foundation stone of the allocation of funds was using a clear methodology with multiple criteria, including productivity and exposure to economic shocks.