Towns Fund Selection: Accounting Officer advice
Advice to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government's Accounting Officer regarding the selection of 101 towns for Town Deals.
Applies to England
Advice to the MHCLG Accounting Officer outlines the selection methodology for Town Deals, as set out by the department’s Permanent Secretary to the Public Accounts Committee evidence session on 21 September 2020.
The foundation of the methodology is a list of all 1,082 towns in England, created by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Using the ONS measure of deprivation at town level, the less needy half of towns were excluded from being eligible.
Officials gathered information on the 541 eligible towns, using different indicators of need, opportunity and alignment with other government priorities. These were then grouped into high, medium and low priority categories. All high priority towns were selected, and ministers selected the remaining towns using the information provided and their own judgment.
The advice also sets out how the Accounting Officer tests of propriety, value for money, affordability and feasibility, and regularity were met.