Request for reinstatement of National Statistics designation for Local authority revenue expenditure and financing, England
I wrote to you last year to request a temporary suspension of the National Statistics badging for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s statistics on Local authority revenue expenditure and financing, England: 2020 to 2021 budget. The Department collects and publishes revenue account budget data from local authorities on an annual basis; there were specific issues last year due to the timing of the returns and the Coronavirus outbreak which led to our request for a temporary suspension of the National Statistics badging.
As explained last year, I was confident these issues were specific to the 2020 to 2021 budget data only and would be resolved going forward. We sent out this year’s forms as usual in February, with returns due back in April, and I am pleased to say that the quality of this year’s budget data has returned to normal and we have not seen any issues akin to those which caused problems to last year’s data.
My statisticians have been engaging with the Housing, Planning and Local Services team at the Office for Statistics Regulation about this year’s data and the quality checks we undertake ahead of publication. They have also discussed with them our plans to include an extra year of historic budget data and clear commentary and caveats to better communicate changes over time given the quality issues with last year’s data.
Given the improvements to this year’s data, I am assured that it is now appropriate for the temporary suspension to end and I ask you to consider reinstating National Statistics badging.
Head of Profession for Statistics, MHCLG