Mr. Gresham Cooke
asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs what is the present expenditure by local authorities on youth clubs, hostels, camp sites, playing fields and swimming baths; and what additional grants he estimates would be necessary to enable local authorities to double the provision of such facilities over the next five years.
§ Mr. H. Brooke
This expenditure is not shown separately in the returns of local authorities, and could not readily be ascertained. It is not specifically aided by Exchequer grant, except in so far as some initial provision may be assisted under the Physical Training and Recreation Act, 1937; and these grants are now to be absorbed into the general grant under the Local Government Act, 1958.
It must not be assumed that, to double the provision, all that is necessary is to offer an Exchequer grant. Among other matters, the local authorities would need to be convinced that a prior need existed in comparison with other requirements, and that it would be appropriate to devote the necessary capital to the purpose despite the competition for investment.