HC Deb 16 December 1970 vol 808 cc1313-4
1. Mr. Carter

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment by how much the road works programme in the City of Birmingham will be cut as a result of the proposed reductions in Government expenditure.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Michael Heseltine)

The Government's road programme is planning to rise by about 8½ per cent. at constant prices to 1974–75. Principal road schemes in Birmingham or elsewhere depend on the rate at which local authorities throughout the country prepare individual schemes to grant-application stage.

Mr. Carter

Will the Under-Secretary give the House an assurance that any road scheme in the City of Birmingham which does not qualify for a Government grant will not have its loan sanction turned down by the Department? Will the hon. Gentleman also bear in mind that the conservative council in the City of Birmingham has, in each year that it has been in office, reduced the amount spent on roads in the city?

Mr. Heseltine

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman appreciates that these are matters for the Birmingham City Council. We are discussing principal road schemes, and the initiative must lie with the city.