HC Deb 12 March 1958 vol 584 c429

3.33 p.m.

Sir Spencer Summers (Aylesbury)

I beg to move, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to make provision for loans to be made by local authorities for physical training and recreation in Great Britain. The Physical Training and Recreation Act, 1937, made it possible for grants to be paid by local authorities to voluntary organisations, and, in particular, to those associated with athletic, social and educational objects. Experience has shown that although very valuable contributions were made in the form of grants, loans were not permitted. I am advised that a number of local authority associations, in particular the National Association of Parish Councils, wish to take advantage of opportunities to make loans which they are now precluded from doing, and which the proposed Bill would enable them to do.

There are cases where only a small part of an area by which rates are borne would benefit by a new project. Therefore, it might be more appropriate for a loan to be made to complete the voluntary contributions which have been given, and to be subsequently paid back.

It is with these ideas in mind that I seek leave to introduce the Bill, which is supported by a number of local government associations, including the County Council's Association, the Urban District and Rural District Councils' Associations, the National Playing Fields Association, the Convention of Royal Burghs in Scotland and the District Councils' Association for Scotland.

The Bill also has the support of right hon. and hon. Gentlemen on Opposition benches as well as on the Government side of the House. It does not seek to make drastic changes, but to remedy a small detail in the situation which I have described.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill ordered to be brought in by Sir Spencer Summers, Mr. Woodburn, Miss Burton, Mr. George, Sir Jocelyn Lucas, Mr. MacColl, Mr. Peart, and Sir Wavell Wakefield.