HC Deb 15 March 1960 vol 619 cc1103-4
26. Mr. Manuel

asked the President of the Board of Trade what help will be given to local authorities within an area scheduled under the Local Employment Bill to rent or sell factory buildings or land for employment purposes in their industrial estates.

Mr. J. Rodgers

Help under the Local Employment Bill is available to local authorities in development districts for various purposes, but these do not include the sale or leasing of land or buildings.

Mr. Manuel

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the local authorities which have acquired industrial estates have increased their own local rate liability by a fair amount? Is he not prepared to notify these local authorities that the 85 per cent. difference between the actual cost of building or the cost of acquisition as against the valuer's assessment could be used by them in negotiating to get industrialists to take over these buildings or land?

Mr. Rodgers

No, Sir. Where the local authority itself is providing employment, for example, in building a factory or a harbour for its own purposes, it can apply for assistance; or it can apply for assistance to clear derelict sites, provide basic services, build approach roads and things of that kind. But local authorities are not covered in the way in which the hon. Member indicated.