HC Deb 05 February 1963 vol 671 cc210-1
6. Mr. Boyden

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he will ensure that all expenditure of local authorities in the North-East undertaken to diminish unemployment is regarded as normal expenditure for the purposes of Section 6 of the Local Government Act of 1958.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. F. V. Corfield)

My right hon. Friend will be prepared to regard as eligible for rate-deficiency grant additional expenditure incurred by local authorities to reduce an exceptionally high level of unemployment.

Mr. Boyden

Can the hon. Gentleman go a little further and give technical assistance on such things as industrial sites if a local authority has not sufficient staff itself?

Mr. Corfield

That is another question. If the hon. Gentleman will put it down, I will apply my mind to it.

Mr. Jeger

Will the hon. Gentleman extend this policy to parts of northern England which are not technically in the North-East, for example, south Yorkshire, where there is a high level of unemployment, though not as high as in the North-East?

Mr. Corfield

The limiting factor is whether or not there are exceptional circumstances which my right hon. Friend can take into account. The area as such is not really crucial.