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.
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?
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.