§ 34. Mr. Arthur Jones
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science on what date grant aid for the purchase and equipping of village playing fields was suspended; and on what date this suspension became operative.
§ Mr. Denis Howell
The suspension of grants to local voluntary organisations towards the capital cost of providing new sporting and recreational facilities resulted from the economy measures introduced by the Chancellor in his speech of 27th July.
1326 It applied from that date to all projects for which no binding commitment had been entered into and which were not situated in development districts.
§ Mr. Jones
How does the Joint Under-Secretary justify the statement he has made with the report of his comments which appeared in the Daily Telegraphon 30th October thatonly grants for capital work projects such as new club houses for sporting clubshad been suspended? How does he justify this statement in the context of his refusal to make a grant for purchasing and equipping a playing field in the village of Hartwell in Northamptonshire?
§ Mr. Howell
I am justified by the fact that it happens to be a true and accurate statement of affairs. That particular project was a capital project and was therefore deferred.
Mr. J. E. B. Hill
What will happen to the backlog of applications at the end of the six months' suspension?
§ Mr. Howell
We have asked the authorities to continue to plan and send their proposals to us for the moment when the standstill is relieved. [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] There is already evidence—in spite of the jocular reception which that received—that they are already doing so.