HC Deb 15 December 1959 vol 615 cc1233-4
23. Mr. Brewis

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what grants are available for improving farm roads in hill and upland areas.

Mr. Leburn

Grants at the rate of 50 per cent. of approved costs are available, where road works form part of a comprehensive scheme of improvements under the Hill Farming and Livestock Rearing Acts and at the rate of 33⅓ per cent. of approved costs under the Farm Improvement Scheme. In addition county councils may obtain grants in certain cases up to 85 per cent. of the cost in the Crofting Counties under the Congested Districts (Scotland) Act, 1897, and elsewhere under the Agriculture (Improvement of Roads) Act, 1955.

Mr. Brewis

While thanking my hon. Friend for his reply, may I ask him whether he is aware that it is quite a serious matter to keep up what may often be miles of roads in upland areas? Will he see that grants can be made under the Livestock and Hill Farming Acts, where it is not necessary to have a comprehensive scheme?

Mr. Leburn

I shall be glad to consider this, but we must remember that costs must not be unreasonably high in relation to the benefit to agriculture.