§ Mr. Edward Lyons
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he now expects to announce a decision on the future of the special environmental assistance scheme Operation Eyesore.
§ Mr. Rippon
The twin aims of Operation Eyesore were to provide jobs in the assisted areas and to improve the local environment. The response exceeded all expectations and the £35 million of schemes approved will have given a massive facelift to the assisted areas. This is an achievement of which we can be proud. But circumstances have changed and, with employment rising fast and growing pressure on resources, I have concluded that a general extension cannot be justified.
I recognise, however, that, through no fault of those concerned, it may not be possible to complete some projects already approved by the present closing date of 30th June 1973. I have therefore decided to extend the date by which such projects must be completed in order to be eligible for grant to 30th September 1973. No further projects will, however, be approved.
My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Wales will be making similar arrangements.