§ 12. Sir William Elliott
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how much money has been earmarked for the two urban development corporations, the six partnership committees, the 15 programme authorities, the assisted areas and the traditional urban aid programmes to rejuvenate the larger industrial cities; and what percentage of this comes from central Government funds.
§ 25. Mr. Stevens
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how much money has been earmarked for the two urban development corporations, the six partnership committees, the 15 programme authorities, the assisted areas and the traditional urban aid programmes to revitalize the towns and cities; and what percentage of this comes from central Government funds.
§ Mr. King
The proposed allocations for 1981–82 at outturn prices are £82 million for UDCs, £113 million for partnerships, £49 million for programme authorities, £5 million for other designated districts and £44 million for the traditional urban programme. Urban programme grant is normally 75 per cent. UDCs will be 100 per cent.
§ Sir William Elliott
Will my right hon. Friend accept that it is recognised in such old cities as Newcastle upon Tyne that Government assistance with rejuvenation is considerable? Will he also accept that revitalisation depends very much on private investment which can get our cities going? Will he encourage private investment to the maximum of his influence?
§ Mr. King
We are most anxious to do that. However much public money is available—it is obviously limited at present—we shall not get the improvements that are needed without the maximum contribution, to be used as pump-priming, from the private sector. I share my hon. Friend's desire in that respect.
§ Mr. William Shelton
Will my right hon. Friend accept that the loss of rate support grant in London which may amount to £200 million could seriously hinder the rejuvenation of our capital city? Should there not be some tighter safety net to limit any furher loss?
§ Mr. King
I would not like to comment on the figures used by my hon. Friend. This matter will depend on the 271 rating and spending decisions of individual authorities. This is a difficult problem. As my hon. Friend knows as well as anyone in the House, expenditure decisions by certain authorities can do more damage to the sort of objective we all share for urban programme or partnership objectives, which it is then impossible for public money to repair. We are most anxious to strike a proper balance in these matters.
§ Mr. Dixon
Will the Minister accept that urban problems are not solely confined to industrial cities? South Tyneside faces as many problems as some industrial cities. Will he also accept that when the partnership and urban programme schemes were introduced it was stated that they would be reassessed, from time to time, with a view to grading them? In view of the high level of unemployment in South Tyneside, primarily due to the Government's policies, the cutback in local expenditure because of the redistribution of the rate support grant and the fact that the housing investment programme allocation means that virtually no new houses will be built and that many construction workers will be thrown on the dole, will the Minister now accept that South Tyneside should be reassessed as a partnership scheme instead of a programme scheme?