HC Deb 04 March 1981 vol 1000 cc262-3
5. Mr. Steen

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how much money has been earmarked for the Liverpool urban development corporation and the partnership committee, the general development area and the traditional urban aid programmes on Merseyside; and what percentage of the total will come from central Government.

Mr. Heseltine

At outturn prices, the proposed UDC's initial allocation in 1981–82 will be £17 million. Further sums may be allocated in respect of certain land acquisitions. The Liverpool partnership will get £17.6 million, and Wirral—Merseyside's only programme authority—about £2¾ million, depending on the quality of its programme. The other Merseyside districts designated under the Inner Urban Areas Act—Sefton and St. Helens—will receive some resources for industrial and commercial projects—how much depends on demand and availability of resources. We hope to announce decisions on traditional urban programme circular 21 in April.

The UDC will be financed at a 100 per cent. rate. The central Government contribution to urban programme projects is normally 75 per cent.

Mr. Steen

Will my right hon. Friend recognise that the principal reason why private investment and private industry have been driven out of the centre of Liverpool and other large cities is the increasing level of Government intervention? If he believes in joint enterprise between the Government and the private sector, and in real partnership, what is he doing to see that that takes place?

Mr. Heseltine

I have made it clear that in future the expenditure programmes under the urban programme will be authorised by me only if there has been full consultation with the private sector—for example with the chamber of commerce in Liverpool. I have also introduced—and we hope shortly to see established—an urban development corporation to reclaim the most difficult areas in Liverpool. That has substantial representation from the private sector, including, of course, the chairman.

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