Town Development Schemes (Finance)

Oral Answers to Questions — Local Government – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st March 1966.

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Photo of Mr David Renton Mr David Renton , Huntingdonshire 12:00 am, 1st March 1966

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he is aware that local authorities operating town development schemes are finding that their rate burdens are substantially increased thereby; and whether he will consider the financial position of such authorities, with a view to granting them special assistance with their town development schemes.

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

The Housing Subsidies Bill will substantially increase the financial assistance available for houses built under town development schemes. I think we should see the effect of these arrangements before considering further legislation.

Photo of Mr David Renton Mr David Renton , Huntingdonshire

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Housing Subsidies Bill will help such local authorities only at some time in the future, whereas the present financial load, due to the existing town development which has been going on for several years, in some cases requires alleviation? Will the Minister look further into this problem?

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

I do not accept that from the right hon. and learned Gentleman, because, as he knows, in our new Amendment to the Bill we have given further assistance because overspill schemes related to exporting authorities will benefit by the arrangement under which houses completed and not merely approved after November will draw the subsidy—and, under these new arrangements, there is not only the basic subsidy which goes up from £24 to £67, but a £24 subsidy in addition, half from the exporting authority and half from me.

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

Is not the Bill on which the Minister relies for his answer one of the casualties of Dissolution? Would it not be better to provide extra money in this way for local authorities, rather than to provide £45 million for the Land Commission?

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

The right hon. Gentleman is ill advised to risk talking about casualties.