HC Deb 16 January 1978 vol 942 cc17-9
14. Roderick

asked the Secretary of State for Wales on what basis housing finance allocations for 1978–79 have been made.

Mr. Alec Jones

For work on new house building, improvements and acquisitions, my right hon. and learned Friend has agreed to authorities proceeding with the whole of the programmes which they have notified to me.

Allocations for the expenditure block covering improvement grants and lending are based on authorities' estimates of what is likely to be spent on improvement grants plus an amount for lending calculated by reference to expected performance in 1977–78.

With permission, I shall publish details of allocations to individual authorities in the Official Report.

Mr. Roderick

Can my hon. Friend assure me that he has adequate machinery for monitoring on a month-to-month basis the expenditure of the allocations made to ensure that the full amount is spent during the course of this year? Further, will he consider the possibility of setting up special allocations to local authorities to deal with the homelessness question, which is a new venture for the district councils?

Mr. Alec Jones

Certainly monitoring is a very important issue. It is one of the factors drawn to our attention in the report of the working party last year. It is because of the improvement in our monitoring service that I was able to urge local authorities to increase their expenditure on housing need in Wales in this coming year.

Concerning homelessness, we have made the provision and it is now really a matter for each local authority to decide its own priorities. As I said earlier, we have allowed them to proceed with all the programmes, the whole of the programmes of which they told me.

Mr. D. E. Thomas

Will not the Minister now accept that the cuts in housing expenditure in Wales centrally imposed on housing authorities by the Welsh Office played havoc last year and the year before in meeting housing need? Will he now repudiate the whitewash job by his Department and the Welsh Council last year in the so-called consultative document on housing finance in Wales?

Mr. Alec Jones

I certainly do not repudiate the report. It was drawn up by a committee, half the members of which were elected members and officers of local authorities, who probably know a great deal more about housing in Wales and the practical day-to-day problems than either the hon. Gentleman or myself. Concerning cuts in the allocation, it seems to me that in this current year no reduction in public expenditure has been a factor in reducing house building. It is our inability to use the resources that the Government have made available.

Following are the details:

Local Authority Lending/Improvement Grant Block in £000's Main Block in £000's
Aberconwy BC 250 1,290
Afan BC 510 1,645
Alyn and Deeside DC 340 1,060
Arfon DC 650 1,165
Blaenau Gwent DC 580 4,310
Brecknock BC 190 925
Cardiff CC 1,370 7,605
Carmarthen DC 350 1,755
Ceredigion DC 350 1,265
Colwyn BC 130 810
Cynon Valley BC 880 1,960
Delyn DC 170 1,195
Dinefwr BC 250 895
Dwyfor DC 240 500

Local Authority Lending/Improvement Grant Block in £000's Main Block in £000's
Glyndwr DC 200 1,105
Islwyn DC 660 1,895
Llanelli BC 1,160 1,450
Lliw Valley BC 890 1,970
Meirionydd DC 240 975
Merthyr Tydfil BC 560 2,735
Monmouth DC 310 1,575
Montgomery DC 120 970
Neath BC 750 1,530
Newport BC 1,370 4,165
Ogwr BC 1,110 4,600
Preseli DC 300 1,550
Radnor DC 150 505
Rhondda BC 2,140 2,665
Rhuddlan DC 60 720
Rhymney Valley DC 630 2,815
South Pembrokeshire DC 540 1,190
Swansea CC 2,040 3,825
Taff-Ely BC 1,250 3,235
Torfaen DC 520 3,395
Vale of Glamorgan BC 740 3,895
Wrexham Maelor BC 410 2,875
Ynys Mon BC 390 1,470
22,800 77,490
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