HC Deb 04 April 1995 vol 257 cc1523-4
Q4. Mr. Bill Michie

To ask the Prime Minister if he will visit Sheffield to discuss funding of front-line services. [16036]

Mr. Newton

I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend has no plans to do so.

Mr. Michie

Two years ago, the Prime Minister did have plans, but never arrived. When the Leader of the House answers this supplementary question, will he debate not the past but the present and future in terms of funding in Sheffield? The funding in terms of Government grant is becoming so bad that it is affecting front-line services to such a degree that the Labour party, the Conservative party and the Liberal Democrat party in Sheffield support a redetermination bid. Will the Leader of the House ask the Prime Minister to support that bid and to come to talk to the people of Sheffield—the carers, teachers and children—who are suffering under the present regime?

Mr. Newton

I can understand why the hon. Gentleman, like many other Opposition Members, does not want to debate the past, and I will not do so—I shall come to the present. The latest figures for March 1994 show that there are, in Sheffield, nearly £8 million in council tax arrears, more than 1,200 vacant properties and unspent school balances of £5 million. Perhaps the Opposition should address those problems first.

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