HC Deb 18 July 1983 vol 46 c3
2. Mr. Knox

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many house renovation grants, including repair grants, were approved by local authorities in Wales in the last financial year; and whether he is satisfied with the rate of progress being achieved in this area.

The Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Wyn Roberts)

Provisional figures show that more than 28,700 house renovation grants, including 17,400 repair grants, were approved in 1982–83. This is about three times the total number of grants and about six times the number of repair grants approved in the previous financial year. This much-increased rate of grant activity should continue in the current year, and I hope that all local authorities will make every effort to meet the demand.

Mr. Knox

I welcome the increased activity in improving housing conditions in Wales, but can my hon. Friend tell me whether the work has placed a heavy burden on local government finances?

Mr. Roberts

I am glad that my hon. Friend welcomes the increased activity, which should be coupled with the 80 per cent. increase in private sector starts in the first quarter of this year, compared with the corresponding period last year. A great deal is going on.

As regards local authority resources for 1982–83, increased expenditure on renovation grants was covered by additional capital allocations. In making allocations for this year, authorities' bids for expenditure on renovation grants were generally met in full, and where an authority's total expenditure on renovation grants for this year exceeds 50 per cent. of its housing capital allocation, the additional expenditure will be covered by a retrospective adjustment to the housing allocation.