§ 11. Mr. Soames
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he next proposes to meet the chairman of the Commission for the New Towns.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment (Mr. Christopher Chope)
The date of my next meeting with the chairman of the Commission for the New Towns has not yet been fixed.
§ Mr. Soames
When my hon. Friend meets the chairman of the Commission for the New Towns, will he remind him that the commission made an exceptionally successful investment in properties of which it is now disposing in new towns, from which the taxpayer is being paid a handsome return? Will my hon. Friend have a word with the Treasury to see whether it is possible to establish from the proceeds of the sales a charitable fund of a very small amount per annum, the percentage to be agreed, to provide community projects in the new towns concerned?
§ Mr. Chope
The commission already has power under statute to make contributions to local charities and other voluntary organisations. I know that my hon. Friend is concerned about the extent of those contributions. I shall be happy to raise that matter at my next meeting with the chairman of the commission.