Derelict Land Reclamation

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th November 1972.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Ted Rowlands Mr Ted Rowlands , Merthyr Tydfil 12:00 am, 27th November 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the estimated budget for derelict land reclamation in Wales for the financial year 1973–74; and whether he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr David Gibson-Watt Mr David Gibson-Watt , Hereford

I expect that expenditure by local authorities in 1973–74 will be of the order of £2·4 million. This will be more than twice as much as the annual expenditure in 1969–70 and 1970–71.

Photo of Mr Ted Rowlands Mr Ted Rowlands , Merthyr Tydfil

Can the hon. Gentleman say whether this increase is more than the 10 per cent. which it is rumoured will be the only increase in the coming year's budget? Does he realise that the cost of these schemes is growing considerably? We have done the easy ones and now it will become more expensive. As we do not want to lose momentum in land reclamation, will the hon. Gentleman agree that we shall have all the money that is needed to finance the local authority land reclamation scheme as requested?

Photo of Mr David Gibson-Watt Mr David Gibson-Watt , Hereford

I agree that that is highly important, and I am glad that the hon. Gentleman joins me in congratulating the local authorities and the derelict land unit of the Welsh Office on what they are doing under the present Government's policy. I do not know where the hon. Gentleman has got his rumour from. He would do well to wait for the meeting which is taking place today between the Monmouthshire Joint Committee and the officials of my Department.

Photo of Mr Neil McBride Mr Neil McBride , Swansea East

Will the hon. Gentleman consider giving a 100 per cent. grant in aid to that which is in the nature of a works project in the Welsh Office, namely the Lower Swansea Valley project, involving 1,300 acres, all in my constituency, which is long overdue for rehabilitation and for a 100 per cent. grant?

Photo of Mr David Gibson-Watt Mr David Gibson-Watt , Hereford

I can well remember visiting the Lower Swansea Valley as the first visit that I undertook as a Minister in this sphere. Although I cannot promise a 100 per cent grant, the hon. Gentleman will be aware of the very high grant that comes from Government aid.