HC Deb 13 February 1983 vol 54 cc6-7
5. Mr. Wigley

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if, in the light of representations he has received from individuals, local authorities and hon. Members since 1 January, he is satisfied that local authorities in Wales have sufficient resources to meet their requirements for 1984–85.

Mr. Nicholas Edwards

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Wigley

Will the Secretary of State confirm that he has received several hundred letters within the past three months complaining about the lack of resources for Welsh housing authorities to meet the enormous demand for house renovation grants? Will he further confirm that about 100,000 families in Wales are on the waiting list for grants, and that some of them will have to wait until 1988 or 1989 to get grants which the Government boasted during the general election were available to them? Is that not disgraceful?

Mr. Edwards

The Government have enormously increased the finance available for improvement grants, which reached a substantial level in the past year. Large sums are still available to local authorities for the coming year. If they treat as urgent the job of completing the sale of council houses, they will have a very large sum of money to spend on that important task.

Mr. Barry Jones

Has not the Secretary of State brutally slashed the block grants of the district authorities in Wales? May I remind him that he has slashed the block grants in Alyn and Deeside by £266,000, in Delyn by £375,000, in Cardiff by £1.3 million, in south Pembrokeshire by 15 per cent., and in Swansea by £750,000?

Mr. Edwards

No. As was explained in the rate support grant debate last week, we have reallocated resources between districts and counties on the basis of the last round of expenditure by the districts. That is the sensible way to proceed.