HC Deb 17 August 1991 vol 195 c335
1. Mrs. Fyfe

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his total consent for Glasgow district council to meet capital expenses on the non-housing revenue account block of housing in 1991–92; how much of that total he requires the council to borrow, and at what anticipated rate of interest; and how much he expects to be raised from (a) the disposal of capital assets, (b) the repayment of principal on loans, (c) insurance claims, (d) leases in specified categories and (e) any other non-HRA receipts.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Lord James Douglas-Hamilton)

The gross non-H RA allocation issued to the City of Glasgow district council for capital investment in private housing in 1991–92 is £24.1 million. Estimated non-HRA capital receipts in 1991–92 are £766,000, all of which is expected to be generated by the repayment of principal on loans. Capital receipts from other sources are estimated to be nil. Details of the extent, terms and conditions of proposed borrowing by the council in 1991–92 are not held centrally.

Mrs. Fyfe

Will the Minister explain why, when Glasgow district council, the housing associations and the co-operatives have been so successful in restoring Glasgow's tenements, the permission to borrow money is limited to £24 million this year when even four years ago it was £55 million? Does he realise that, as a result, no fewer than 1,500 tenement owners have been turned down by the council for repair grants this year and the housing associations' programmes are being held up irrevocably until the problem is solved? Will the Minister commit himself to improving those resources forthwith?

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

I am aware of the problems in Glasgow that the hon. Lady mentions. Similar problems arise in Edinburgh. They will be borne in mind and if there is a possibility of making supplementary allocations later in the year, the points that she made will be fully considered. About £500 million has been spent by housing associations in Glasgow, which is almost half the total for Scotland. That has made an enormous impact on the tenements in the hon. Lady's constituency as well as elsewhere in Glasgow. In addition, 40 per cent. of the housing support grant is spent in Glasgow, so Glasgow receives the lion's share of the funding.

Mr. Nigel Griffiths

The Minister mentioned Edinburgh. Will he come clean with the House and the people of Edinburgh and admit that hundreds of homeowners are on the waiting list for repair grants? Why does not the Minister put his money where his mouth is and clear that backlog?

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

We allocated to Edinburgh district council £8.25 million for this year to enable the repairs grant backlog to be cleared. That was precisely the sum requested by the district council. We later discovered that the estimates were inaccurate, in contrast to those given by Glasgow officials. We shall bear in mind the points that the hon. Gentleman makes.

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